Due to the position of the body and tail of the pancreas within the anatomy, tumors in this area may develop for some time before causing symptoms, such as pain or jaundice. Unfortunately, once these symptoms appear the cancer is usually at an advanced stage, often with evidence metastases. For this reason most patients with tumors of the body or tail are not operable.
If the tumor is operable, a laparoscopic pancreatectomy and splenectomy is performed. This is the removal of the left portion of the pancreas and the spleen.