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Triple bypass operation is a diversion operation for the digestive system when the alimentary passage is blocked by advanced pancreatic cancer.

This operation is commonly performed for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer at the head of pancreas, causing blockage to the bile flow or food passage through the duodenum, or both. Patients who are not suitable for stenting may need this operation to bypass the obstruction. After recovery from this operation, the patient will be able to resume eating.

This operation can be performed using the conventional open approach, or laparoscopically via key-hole technique in suitable patients.

In this operation, the small bowel (jejunum) is joined directly to the stomach. With the new passage, food passes from the stomach into the bowel directly, relieving the patient of the symptom of vomiting. This operation is usually performed for advanced cancer of the pancreatic head.

As these cancers also cause blockage of the bile duct, an operation to relieve the bile duct of blockage is performed at the same time. The bile duct or the gall bladder is connected to a loop of small bowel, thereby allowing the bile to flow from the liver into the bowel, bypassing the blocked part of the bile duct. Once the bile is diverted, the jaundice gradually clears.

The major concern for this operation is leak around the sites where the bowel and bile ducts are joined, or where loops of the bowels are connected. Frail and debilitated patients are at higher risk. In some patients, the small bowel may take a while to return to normal function.

 

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