Last fall I was diagnosed with Intraductal Papillary Muscinous Neoplasm, a relatively rare affliction of the pancreas. It frequently develops into cancer. As a result, the recommendation was a complete pancreatectomy (removal of the pancreas). The pancreas not only produces and regulates insulin to manage blood sugar, but also produces enzymes to aid digestion. Without it, a person becomes a "labile" diabetic with drastic fluctuations in blood sugar. Persistent high blood sugar can cause major problems in the eyes and extremities. Extreme lows can be lethal. Labile Diebetes can be managed by both changes in diet and frequent subcutaneous administration of insulin. The loss of digestive enzymes can be made up by use of enzymatic medication.
We were not able to secure a second opinion until February and because the situation did not require immediate action, I scheduled the surgery for May 12th, when there were the least conflicts with existing commitments. Recovery time was expected to be 4-8 weeks. The surgery was scheduled at the UW Medical Center, one of the highest rated healthcare institutions in the country in general and for pancreas treatment in particular.
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