A surgical procedure to treat cancer involving on the head of the pancreas, malignant tumors involving the common bile duct, duodenal papilla, or duodenum near the pancreas.
The head of the pancreas and the duodenum share the same arterial blood supply (the gastroduodenal artery). These arteries run through the head of the pancreas, so that both organs must be removed if the single blood supply is severed. If only the head of the pancreas were removed it would compromise blood flow to the duodenum, resulting in tissue necrosis.
There after called the Whipple procedure.