What happens before the surgery?

If you smoke, try to give up or smoke less before your operation. This will lower your risk of chest problems, such as a chest infection. It will also help your wound to heal after the operation. Your GP can give you advice. You may also find it helpful to read our information on giving up smoking.

You will go to a pre-assessment clinic for tests to check you are fit for the operation. These may include blood tests, a chest x-ray or a recording of your heart (ECG). You will meet a member of the surgical team to discuss the operation. This is a good time to share any questions or concerns you have.

Tell your nurse as soon as possible if you think you may need help when you go home after surgery. This may be because you live alone or care for someone else. This will give them plenty of time to make arrangements for anything you need to go home.

Some hospitals follow an enhanced recovery programme. This aims to reduce your time in hospital and to speed up your recovery. It also helps you become more involved in your own care. For example, you may get information about diet and exercise. They will make any arrangements you need to go home. Your doctor will tell you if an enhanced recovery programme is available and suitable for you.

You will usually be admitted to hospital on the morning of the operation. You will be given elastic stockings (TED stockings) to wear during the operation and for some time afterwards. This is to stop blood clots in your legs.

Back to Surgery

Surgery for pancreatic cancer

Some people with early-stage pancreatic cancer have surgery to remove the cancer. Some people have surgery to relieve symptoms.

Who might I meet?

A team of specialists will plan your surgery. This will include a surgeon who specialises in your type of cancer.

What happens after surgery?

You’ll be monitored closely after your operation. How quickly you recover will depend on the surgery you’ve had.