The type of surgery performed depends mostly on the location of the tumor in your pancreas. Your surgeon will recommend the procedure that removes the tumor and affected tissue while safely preserving as much of the pancreas as possible.
In a central pancreatectomy, a tumor in the neck or body of the pancreas is removed while preserving the healthy head and tail of the pancreas. It is a highly specialized procedure performed at only a handful of centers in the United States, including The Pancreas Center of Columbia University. The benefit of a central pancreatectomy is that it leaves the patient with a highly functional pancreatic head and tail with exocrine and endocrine functions intact, usually decreasing the chance of developing insulin-dependent diabetes.
A typical central pancreatectomy procedure requires between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the exact location and pathology of the tumor.