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Best Hospitals for Whipple Procedure in Europe


Whipple surgery is a complex procedure for treating various diseases of the pancreas. To date, it is the most effective way to fight pancreatic cancer and prolong and improve the patient's quality of life.

Next, we will tell you what a Whipple procedure is and what successes have been achieved in this direction. You can also learn about the best clinics and surgeons for such an operation.

What is a Whipple surgery: Essence and Features

Pancreaticoduodenal resection removes the affected parts of the pancreas, stomach, and duodenum. Whipple surgery treats tumors and other diseases of the pancreas, intestines, and bile ducts.

The primary purpose of the Whipple procedure is to stop the oncological or inflammatory process, stop further damage to nearby organs, and the development of metastases.

The operation is performed in several ways: open, laparoscopic, and robotic. As a rule, minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery requires less time to recover from and has a lower risk than open surgery. But technically, it is not always possible to operate laparoscopically.

Whipple surgery with robot DaVinci shortens the rehabilitation period, reduces the risk of severe complications, and increases patient survival.

Indications for pancreatic surgery

In most cases, the Whipple procedure is performed when a patient is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Whipple procedure also is recommended for the treatment:

  • pancreatitis;
  • cancer of the bile ducts;
  • neuroendocrine tumors;
  • small bowel cancer;
  • injury to the pancreas or small intestine;
  • other neoplasms or diseases affect the pancreas, duodenum, or bile ducts.

The primary purpose of the intervention is to remove cancer and prevent its growth and spread to other organs. That is the only treatment that can lead to an increase in life expectancy and cure most tumors.

Possible risks and complications of Whipple surgery

Since the Whipple operation belongs to the complex category, the recovery period may be overshadowed by some difficulties. Their severity and frequency directly depend on the professionalism of the surgeon.

What you need to be prepared for:

  • bleeding;
  • infections in the incision area or inside the abdominal cavity;
  • leakage from the pancreas or bile ducts;
  • diabetes, temporary or chronic;
  • paralysis of the stomach from 4 to 6 weeks appears in 25% of patients because the organ adapts to new functioning conditions;
  • diarrhea when eating fatty foods, which goes away after treatment with enzymes;
  • weight loss from 5% to 10%;
  • recurrence of cancer, metastasis to the lungs, liver, and peritoneum.

Possible complications of the Whipple procedure may include pain, discomfort in the stomach area, nausea, and indigestion.

Conducting an intervention by experienced surgeons significantly reduces the risk of unpleasant complications.

Advantages of the operation

Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer can generally benefit about 30% of patients. This technique is still considered the most effective antitumor treatment in combination with chemotherapy. In addition, studies confirm that survival rates are higher and the frequency of surgical complications is lower if the procedure is performed in a large specialized center whose surgeons perform it at least 15-20 times a year.

Whipple procedure in European hospitals is a relatively popular treatment, so local surgeons have extensive experience in this field. The extensive clinical practice allowed them to improve surgical approaches and achieve impressively high patient survival rates – 98%.

Why are European clinics leading in the treatment of the pancreas?

Surgical risks can be avoided when the intervention is carried out by experienced specialists using modern equipment. And European clinics are the best place to offer these benefits and provide quality medical care to patients before, during, and after pancreatic surgery. That is because doctors are working on certified medical devices.

In addition, European hospitals follow the latest international guidelines for the Whipple procedure. A team of specialists works with the patient – gastroenterologists, oncologists, radiation therapists, pathologists, radiologists, palliative care doctors, nurses, etc.

There is a regular discussion of treatment, and all available therapy approaches are considered, providing a combination of treatment methods best suited for this particular case. The most advanced therapies possible are offered, which support the quality of life during treatment.

Patients can recover in the most comfortable conditions without worrying about anything.

Usually, clinics perform a Whipple procedure when the tumor is in the pancreas. However, leading hospitals can perform liver surgery for more advanced cancer cases.

Whipple surgery of pancreatic cancer in European centers can be performed laparoscopically. Such operations are performed through small incisions. As a result, they are less painful, practically do not leave scars, and allow the patient to recover quickly. A laparoscope and miniature surgical instruments are inserted into the patient's abdominal cavity through small punctures during the procedure.

The laparoscopic Whipple procedure using a robot DaVinci is characterized by high accuracy and the ability to manipulate microscopic structures (for example, blood vessels and nerves) inaccessible to the human hand.

Where can we treat pancreatic cancer with AiroMedical?

The Best Hospitals in Europe for Whipple Procedure

Our database consists of European clinics with the best medical approach. Here we offer a look at the TOP institutions for performing the Whipple procedure:

Isar University Hospital of the Technical University of Munich

The hospital, the second largest medical institution in Bavaria, guarantees a modern approach to diagnosing and treating many needy patients. The department has modern equipment for the Whipple procedure. In addition, the abdominal surgery department is certified by the German Cancer Society as a pancreatic cancer center.

Teknon Medical Center Barcelona

This medical facility is located in the tourist center of Barcelona. In addition, it can also be called the center of Spanish medical tourism. The hospital follows the latest recommendations for patient care and includes a leading onco-surgery unit. The clinic is actively involved in new treatment methods for pancreatic cancer. Finally, the medical center is known for treating many world-famous people there.

Ludwig-Maximilian University Hospital Munich

Since the clinic is one of the largest in Europe, about 500.000 patients are treated there annually, the advantage of a medical institution is its constant participation in international research and the introduction of new technologies in therapy. In addition, the department of abdominal surgery performs pancreatic procedures and primarily participates in scientific research.

University Hospital in Wurzburg

The well-known FOCUS magazine recognized the clinic as one of the best German hospitals. Oncological treatment, including the Whipple procedure for pancreatic cancer, is one of the essential activities of the center. In addition, the abdominal surgery department is part of a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Nordwest Hospital Frankfurt am Main

According to FOCUS magazine, that clinic is on the list of the 100 best hospitals in Germany. In addition, the hospital is one of 22 centers that have received an ESMO (European Society of Medical Oncology) certificate. This fact ensures high-quality treatment of surgical removal of malignant tumors of the pancreas.

Prognosis after the Whipple procedure

Full recovery after Whipple surgery usually occurs within 2-4 months. In the case of resection of a benign tumor or a malignant one before the formation of metastases, patients return to daily life with complete recovery. Therefore, restrictions will only be a sparing diet and a slight reduction in physical activity.

A professionally performed Whipple procedure and strict compliance with all the doctor's recommendations in the postoperative period can prolong the life of a patient with a malignant pancreatic tumor for 2-3 years. Dozens of similar operations are carried out daily in German clinics, which allows for a minimum mortality rate of 5%.

The cancer survival rate is believed to increase significantly if a Whipple procedure is performed for oncology surgical treatment. The improved prognosis is due to removing the primary focus of malignant cells and possible metastasis foci. The operation also improves the prognosis for inflammatory and infectious diseases of the pancreas.

Thus, the Whipple procedure, with a very high survival rate, is the optimal method of treating severe pathologies of the pancreas, small intestine, and bile ducts.

TOP surgeon for pancreatic intervention

The leading European hospitals employ the most experienced and qualified specialists:

Prof. Dr. med. Helmut Friess

Professor is the Head of the Department of General, Abdominal, Thoracic, Onco-Surgery, and Endocrine surgery at the Rechts der Isar University Hospital in Munich. The surgeon is a member of national and international societies and associations of surgeons.

Dr. Domenico Sabia

The doctor is the chief physician of the Oncological Surgery department at the Teknon Medical Center in Barcelona. The specialist has extensive abdominal surgery experience, including the Whipple procedure.

Prof. Dr. med. Jens Werner

The surgeon is the head of the Department of General, Abdominal, and Transplant Surgery at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Hospital in Munich. In addition, the doctor participates in international societies. And cooperate with reputable journals.

Prof. Dr. med. Christoph-Tomash Germer

A qualified specialist is the chief physician of the department where operations on the pancreas are performed, including the Whipple procedure. The doctor is a prestigious member of the Association of Bavarian Surgeons.

Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Werner Kraus

The chief surgeon is a Professor and Head of the Nordwest Frankfurt am Main Hospital Surgical Department. There are many awards, grants, and scholarships for his medical education.

How can we help?

AiroMedical officially cooperates and organizes treatment in famous clinics in Europe. Therefore, we find the best specialist for the most complex cases and take care of everything before, during, and after treatment.

You can choose your clinic and doctor for the Whipple procedure or consult with our experts for free. The treatment cost depends on the sickness's complexity, the procedure volume, and the specific clinic. By sending a request on our website, you will receive a preliminary calculation by email.

Our expert doctors will call you back during the day, get acquainted with the documents, and help you choose the best options for treating diseases in European clinics. We cooperate with the world's best specialists. After accepting the offer, we will organize your trip, help obtain an invitation and a visa, translate documents, communicate with the clinic, and meet and provide an interpreter and a transfer.

Our managers and support services of AiroMedical work 24/7, and we are ready to help the patient to solve any problems.


  1. WebMD: Whipple Procedure
  2. National Library of Medicine: Whipple procedure
  3. Cancer Treatment Centers of America: Whipple Procedure
  4. Medical News Today: What to know about the Whipple procedure
  5. The Medical Journal of Australia: Pancreatic cancer