A total pancreatectomy is sometimes required for multiple cysts of the pancreas. This will render the patient dependent on pancreatic enzymes (capsules) and insulin (injections).
There a general risks of these operations for which precautions are taken. The risk that is uppermost in the surgeons mind is a potential leak from the join (anastomosis) between the pancreas and the small intestine. The risks of this are increased with a soft fatty pancreas and if the pancreatic duct is very small. The risks are decreased by expert surgery, but it cannot be decreased to zero. A leak is usually managed without the need for further surgery.
The patient may in hospital for 7 to 10 days and will require a month or two of convalescence. Postoperative chemotherapy will often be required for those with a pancreatic cancer that has been removed.