About Your Total Pancreatectomy

​​This guide will help you prepare for your total pancreatectomy at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). It will also help you understand what to expect during your recovery. Read through this guide at least once before your surgery and use it as a reference in the days leading up to your surgery. Bring this guide with you every time you come to MSK, including the day of your surgery. You and your healthcare team will refer to it throughout your care.

About Your Surgery

A total pancreatectomy is a surgery to remove your entire pancreas. Your pancreas is located in the back of your abdomen (belly) behind your stomach and just above your small intestine (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Your pancreas

Pancreas function

Your pancreas produces enzymes that help to digest fat. After your surgery, you will need to take a medication with your meals that contains enzyme replacement.

Your pancreas also produces 2 main hormones: insulin and glucagon. They help to regulate blood sugar levels. When your pancreas is removed, you will have diabetes. You will need to test your blood sugar levels and to take insulin in order to keep them at safe levels. You will meet with an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in treating diabetes and other problems with the endocrine system) in the hospital who will help you manage your diabetes. You will also need a doctor to help manage your diabetes once you leave the hospital.

Total Pancreatectomy

During your surgery, your surgeon will remove your pancreas. Because of the location of the pancreas, your surgeon will also need to remove part of your stomach, your duodenum (first part of your small intestine), the end of your common bile duct, your gallbladder, and your spleen (see Figure 2). Your surgeon will reconnect your stomach and remaining portion of your common bile duct to your jejunum (second part of your small intestine, see Figure 3). This ensures that food and bile flow into your small intestines.

Figure 2. The organs that will be removed during your surgery

This surgery takes 3 to 4 hours.

Figure 3. Your abdomen after your surgery
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Before Your Surgery

The information in this section will help you prepare for your surgery. Read through this section when your surgery is scheduled and refer to it as your surgery date gets closer. It contains important information about what you need to do before your surgery. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

You and your healthcare team will work together to prepare for your surgery.

Help us keep you safe during your surgery by telling us if any of the following statements apply to you, even if you aren’t sure.

  • I take a blood thinner. Some examples are heparin, warfarin (Coumadin®), clopidogrel (Plavix®), enoxaparin (Lovenox®), dabigatran (Pradaxa®), apixaban (Eliquis®), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto®). There are others, so be sure your doctor knows all the medications you’re taking.
  • I take prescription medications, including patches and creams.
  • I take any over-the-counter medications, herbs, vitamins, minerals, or natural or home remedies.
  • I have a pacemaker, automatic implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD), or other heart device.
  • I have sleep apnea.
  • I have had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • I am allergic to certain medication(s) or materials, including latex.
  • I am not willing to receive a blood transfusion.
  • I drink alcohol.
  • I smoke.
  • I use recreational drugs.

About Drinking Alcohol

The amount of alcohol you drink can affect you during and after your surgery. It’s important that you talk with your healthcare providers about your alcohol intake so that we can plan your care.

  • Stopping alcohol suddenly can cause seizures, delirium, and death. If we know you are at risk for these complications, we can prescribe medication to help prevent them.
  • If you use alcohol regularly, you may be at risk for other complications during and after surgery. These include bleeding, infections, heart problems, and a longer hospital stay.

Here are things you can do to prevent problems before your surgery:

  • Be honest with your healthcare provider about how much alcohol you drink.
  • Try to stop drinking alcohol once your surgery is planned. If you develop a headache, nausea, increased anxiety, or cannot sleep after you stop drinking, tell your doctor right away. These are early signs of alcohol withdrawal and can be treated.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you cannot stop drinking.
  • Ask us any questions you have about drinking and surgery. As always, all of your medical information will be kept confidential.

About Smoking

People who smoke can have breathing problems when they have surgery. Stopping even for a few days before surgery can help. If you smoke, your nurse will refer you to our Tobacco Treatment Program. You can also reach the program at 212-610-0507.

About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With OSA, the airway becomes completely blocked during sleep. It can cause serious problems during and after surgery.

Please tell us if you have sleep apnea or if you think you might have it. If you use a breathing machine (such as a CPAP) for sleep apnea, bring it with you the day of your surgery.

Within 30 Days of Your Surgery

Presurgical Testing (PST)

Before your surgery, you will have an appointment for presurgical testing (PST). The date, time, and location of your PST appointment will be printed on the appointment reminder from your surgeon’s office. You can eat and take your usual medications the day of your PST appointment.

During your appointment, you will meet with a nurse practitioner who works closely with anesthesiology staff (doctors and specialized nurses who will be giving you medication to put you to sleep during your surgery). Your nurse practitioner will review your medical and surgical history with you. You will have tests, including an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart rhythm, a chest x-ray, blood tests, and any other tests necessary to plan your care. Your nurse practitioner may also recommend you see other healthcare providers.

Your nurse practitioner will talk with you about which medications you should take the morning of your surgery.

It is very helpful if you bring the following with you to your PST appointment:

  • A list of all the medications you are taking, including patches and creams.
  • Results of any tests done outside of MSK, such as a cardiac stress test, echocardiogram, or carotid doppler study.
  • The name(s) and telephone number(s) of your doctor(s).

Complete a Health Care Proxy Form

If you haven’t already completed a Health Care Proxy form, we recommend you complete one now. A health care proxy is a legal document that identifies the person who will speak for you if you are unable to communicate for yourself. The person you identify is called your health care agent.

If you are interested in completing a Health Care Proxy form, talk with your nurse. If you have completed one already, or if you have any other advance directive, bring it with you to your next appointment.

Do Breathing and Coughing Exercises

Practice taking deep breaths and coughing before your surgery. You will be given an incentive spirometer to help expand your lungs. For more information, read How to Use Your Incentive Spirometer. If you have any questions, ask your nurse or respiratory therapist.

Exercise

Try to do aerobic exercise every day, such as walking at least 1 mile, swimming, or biking. If it is cold outside, use stairs in your home or go to a mall or shopping market. Exercising will help your body get into its best condition for your surgery and make your recovery faster and easier.

Eat a Healthy Diet

You should eat a well-balanced, healthy diet before your surgery. If you need help with your diet talk with your doctor or nurse about meeting with a dietitian.

10 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Certain Medications

If you take vitamin E, stop taking it 10 days before your surgery. If you take aspirin, ask your surgeon whether you should continue. Medications such as aspirin, medications that contain aspirin and vitamin E can cause bleeding. For more information, read Common Medications Containing Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

Purchase Supplies

Hibiclens is a skin cleanser that kills germs for 6 hours after using it. Showering with Hibiclens before your surgery will help lower your risk of infection after surgery. You can buy Hibiclens at your local pharmacy without a prescription.

Your surgeon may instruct you to clean out your bowels before your surgery. Your nurse will tell you how. You will need to purchase the following supplies for your bowel preparation at your local pharmacy. You do not need a prescription.

  • 1 (238-gram) bottle of polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX®)
  •  (64-ounce) bottle of a clear liquid (see the clear liquid diet menu in this section)

This is also a good time to stock up on clear liquids to drink the day before your surgery, if you need to.

7 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Herbal Remedies and Supplements

Stop taking herbal remedies or supplements 7 days before your surgery. If you take a multivitamin, talk with your doctor or nurse about whether you should continue. For more information, read Herbal Remedies and Cancer Treatment.

Watch a Virtual Tour

This video will give you an idea of what to expect when you come to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s main hospital on the day of your surgery.

2 Days Before Your Surgery

Stop Taking Certain Medications

Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), and naproxen (Aleve®). These medications can cause bleeding. For more information, please read Common Medications Containing Aspirin and Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).

1 Day Before Your Surgery

    Drink Only Clear Liquids

    You will need to follow a clear liquid diet the day before your surgery. A clear liquid diet includes only liquids you can see through. Examples are listed in the table below. Your doctor or nurse will tell you if you will need an extra day of clear liquids or any additional bowel preparation.

    While you are on this diet:

    • Don’t eat any solid foods.
    • Make sure to drink plenty of liquids other than water, coffee, and tea. Try to drink at least 1 (8-ounce) glass of clear liquid every hour while you’re awake.
    Clear Liquid Diet

     

    Drink

    Do Not Drink

    Soups
    • Clear broth, bouillon, or consommé
    • Any products with particles of dried food or seasoning
    Sweets and Desserts
    • Gelatin, such as Jell-O®
    • Flavored ices
    • Hard candies, such as Lifesavers®
    • All others
    Drinks
    • Clear fruit juices, such as apple, cranberry, lemonade, or grape
    • Soda, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer
    • Gatorade®
    • Black coffee
    • Tea
    • Water
    • Juices with pulp
    • Nectars
    • Milk (or cream)
    • Alcoholic beverages

    Start Bowel Preparation, If Needed

    If your doctor or nurse told you that you needed to do a bowel preparation, you will need to start it 1 day before your surgery. During your bowel preparation:

    • Don’t eat any solid food
    • Make sure to drink plenty of liquids other than water, decaffeinated black coffee, and decaffeinated tea. Try to drink at least 1 (8-ounce) glass every hour while you’re awake.

    On the morning before your surgery, mix all 238 grams of MiraLAX with the 64 ounces of clear liquid until the MiraLAX powder dissolves. Once the MiraLAX is dissolved, you can put the mixture in the refrigerator, if you prefer.

    The MiraLAX bowel preparation will cause frequent bowel movements, so be sure to be near a bathroom the evening before your surgery.

    At 5:00 pm on the day before your surgery, start drinking the MiraLAX bowel preparation. Drink 1 (8-ounce) glass of the mixture every 15 minutes until the container is empty. When you’re finished drinking the MiraLAX, drink 4 to 6 glasses of clear liquids. You can continue to drink clear liquids until midnight, but it is not required.

    Apply zinc oxide ointment or Desitin® to the skin around your anus after every bowel movement. This helps prevent irritation.

    Note the Time of Your Surgery

    A clerk from the Admitting Office will call you after 2:00 pm the day before your surgery. The clerk will tell you what time you should arrive at the hospital for your surgery. If you are scheduled for surgery on a Monday, you will be called on the Friday before. If you do not receive a call by 7:00 pm, please call 212-639-5014.

    Both locations are at 1275 York Avenue between East 67th and East 68th streets.

    • Presurgical Center (PSC) on the 2nd floor
      M elevator to 2nd floor
    • Presurgical Center (PSC) on the 6th floor
      B elevator to 6th floor

    Shower with Hibiclens

    The night before your surgery, shower using Hibiclens. To use Hibiclens, open the bottle and pour some solution into your hand or a washcloth. Rub it gently over your body from your neck to your waist and rinse. Don’t let the solution get into your eyes, ears, mouth, or genital area. Don’t use any other soap. Dry yourself off with a clean towel after your shower.

    Sleep

    Go to bed early and get a full night’s sleep.

    The Morning of Your Surgery

    Between midnight and up until 2 hours before your scheduled arrival time, you may drink a total of 12 ounces of clear liquids (see Figure 4).

    Figure 1. 12 ounces of clear liquid

    Examples of clear liquids include:

    • Water
    • Clear broth, bouillon, or consommé (no particles of dried food or seasonings)
    • Gelatin, such as Jell-O®
    • Clear fruit juices (no pulp), such as white cranberry, white grape, or apple
    • Soda, such as 7-Up®, Sprite®, ginger ale, seltzer, or Gatorade®
    • Coffee or tea, without milk or cream

    Shower with Hibiclens

    Shower using Hibiclens just before you leave for the hospital. Use the Hibiclens the same way you did the night before. Don’t use any other soap. Don’t put on any lotion, cream, powder, deodorant, makeup, or perfume after your shower.

    Take Your Medications

    If your doctor or nurse practitioner instructed you to take certain medications the morning of your surgery, take only those medications with a sip of water. Depending on what medications you take and the surgery you’re having, this may be all, some, or none of your usual morning medications.

    Things to Remember

    • Don’t put on any lotions, creams, deodorants, makeup, powders, or perfumes.
    • Don’t wear any metal objects. Remove all jewelry, including body piercings. The equipment used during your surgery can cause burns if it touches metal.
    • Leave valuables, such as credit cards, jewelry, or your checkbook at home.
    • Before you are taken into the operating room, you will need to remove your hearing aids, dentures, prosthetic device(s), wig, and religious articles (such as a rosary).
    • If you wear contact lenses, wear your glasses instead.

    • Sneakers that lace up. You may have some swelling in your feet. Lace-up sneakers can accommodate this swelling.
    • Only the money you may need for a newspaper, bus, taxi, or parking.
    • Your breathing machine for sleep apnea (such as your CPAP), if you have one.
    • Your portable music player, if you choose. However, someone will need to hold this items for you when you go into surgery.
    • Your incentive spirometer, if you have one.
    • Your Health Care Proxy Form, if you have completed one.
    • A case for your personal items, such as eyeglasses, hearing aid(s), dentures, prosthetic device(s), wig, and religious articles, if you have it.
    • This guide. Your healthcare team will use this guide to teach you how to care for yourself after your surgery.

    Parking When You Arrive

    MSK’s parking garage is located on East 66th Street between York and First Avenues. If you have questions about prices, call 212- 639-2338.

    To reach the garage, turn onto East 66th Street from York Avenue. The garage is located about a quarter of a block in from York Avenue, on the right-hand (north) side of the street. There is a pedestrian tunnel that you can walk through that connects the garage to the hospital.

    There are also other garages located on East 69th Street between First and Second Avenues, East 67th Street between York and First Avenues, and East 65th Street between First and Second Avenues.

    Once You’re in the Hospital

    You will be asked to state and spell your name and date of birth many times. This is for your safety. People with the same or similar names may be having surgery on the same day.

    Get Dressed for Surgery

    When it is time to change for surgery, you will get a hospital gown, robe, and nonskid socks to wear.

    Meet With Your Nurse

    You will meet with your nurse before surgery. Tell your nurse the dose of any medications (including patches and creams) you took after midnight and the time you took them.

    Meet With Your Anesthesiologist

    Your anesthesiologist will:

    • Review your medical history with you.
    • Talk with you about your comfort and safety during your surgery.
    • Talk with you about the kind of anesthesia (medication to make you sleep) you will receive.
    • Answer any questions you may have about your anesthesia.
    Prepare For Your Surgery

    Once your nurse has seen you, 1 or 2 visitors can keep you company as you wait for your surgery to begin. When it is time for your surgery, your visitor(s) will be shown to the waiting area. Your visitors should read Information for Family and Friends for the Day of Surgery.

    You will either walk into the operating room or be taken in on a stretcher. A member of the operating room team will help you onto the operating bed. Compression boots will be placed on your lower legs. These gently inflate and deflate to help circulation in your legs.

    Your anesthesiologist will place an intravenous (IV) line into a vein, usually in your arm or hand. The IV line will be used to give you fluids and anesthesia (medication to make you sleep) during your surgery.

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    After Your Surgery

    The information in this section will tell you what to expect after your surgery, both during your hospital stay and after you leave the hospital. You will learn how to safely recover from your surgery. Write down any questions you have and be sure to ask your doctor or nurse.

    What to Expect

    When you wake up after your surgery, you will be in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). You will stay there overnight.

    You will receive oxygen through a thin tube that rests below your nose called a nasal cannula. A nurse will be monitoring your body temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.

    You will have a pain pump called a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) device. PCA uses a computerized pump to deliver pain medication into your IV or epidural space (in your spine). For more information, read Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA).

    You will have a Foley® catheter in your bladder to monitor the amount of urine you are making. The Foley should be removed 2 or 3 days after your surgery. You will also have compression boots on your lower legs to help your circulation. They will be taken off when you are able to walk.

    You may have a drain in your abdomen to drain extra fluid from the area. Most of the time, the drains are removed after a few days. If you go home with a drain, your nurse will show you how to care for it.

    Your visitors can see you briefly in the PACU, usually within 90 minutes after you arrive there. A member of the nursing staff will explain the guidelines to them.

    After your stay in the PACU, you will be taken to your hospital room on the inpatient unit. You will be helped out of your bed and into a chair. Your nurse will tell you how to recover from your surgery. Below are examples of ways you can help yourself recover safely.

    • It is important to walk around after surgery. Walking every 2 hours is a good goal. This will help prevent blood clots in your legs.
    • Use your incentive spirometer. This will help your lungs expand, which prevents pneumonia. For more information, read How to Use Your Incentive Spirometer

    Commonly Asked Questions: During Your Hospital Stay

    Will I have pain after my surgery?

    You will have some pain from your incision(s) after your surgery. Your doctor and nurse will ask you about your pain often. You will be given medication to manage your pain as needed. If your pain is not relieved, please tell your doctor or nurse. It is important to control your pain so you can cough, breathe deeply, use your incentive spirometer, and get out of bed and walk.

    How will I manage my diabetes?

    During your hospital stay, you will see an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in treating diabetes and other problems with the endocrine system) and a diabetes nurse educator. This nurse will work closely with you and your caregiver to prepare you for managing your diabetes. You will be taught:

    • How diabetes affects your body.
    • Which foods to eat and which ones to avoid.
    • How to check your blood sugar.
    • How to give yourself an injection of insulin.

    You will need to start seeing an endocrinologist close to home who will help you manage your diabetes after you leave the hospital. We can help you find a doctor if you do not already have one.

    Will I be able to eat after my surgery?

    You will be on a liquid diet for the first day or 2 following the surgery. After that, you can progress to a diabetic diet.

    Your dietitian will work closely with you to plan your diet before you are discharged.

    At first you will not be able to eat the same portions of food you did before the surgery. Try to eat 4 to 6 small meals a day. If you find that your appetite is not good at first, you may try a supplement such as Glucerna®.

    You will be taking pancreatic enzyme replacement pills before every meal and with snacks. They help you digest fats. If you have diarrhea, tell your doctor or nurse. The dose of your enzyme pills may need to be adjusted. Finding the right dose may take weeks or even months.

    How long will I be in the hospital?

    Most people are in the hospital for 5 to 7 days after having a total pancreatectomy but this will depend on the exact surgery that is done.

    Commonly Asked Questions: After You Leave the Hospital

    Will I have pain when I am home?

    The length of time each person has pain or discomfort varies. You may still have some pain when you go home and will probably be taking pain medication. Follow the guidelines below.

    • Take your medications as directed and as needed.
    • Call your doctor if the medication prescribed for you doesn’t relieve your pain.
    • Do not drive or drink alcohol while you are taking prescription pain medication.
    • As your incision heals, you will have less pain and need less pain medication. A mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®) will relieve aches and discomfort. However, large quantities of acetaminophen may be harmful to your liver. Do not take more acetaminophen than the amount directed on the bottle or as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
    • Pain medication should help you as you resume your normal activities. Take enough medication to do your exercises comfortably. Pain medication is most effective 30 to 45 minutes after taking it.
    • Keep track of when you take your pain medication. Taking it when your pain first begins is more effective than waiting for the pain to get worse.

    Is it normal to feel tired?

    Yes, feeling tired (fatigue) is common after surgery, and may last for 6 to 8 weeks. This will improve slowly over time. Try to increase your activity level every day to help manage your fatigue. Get up, get dressed, and walk. You may need a nap during the day, but try to stay out of bed as much as possible so you will sleep at night.

    Can I shower?

    Yes. Taking a warm shower is relaxing and can help decrease muscle aches. Use soap when you shower and gently wash your incision. Pat the areas dry with a towel after showering, and leave your incision uncovered (unless there is drainage). Call your doctor if you see any redness or drainage from your incision.

    Do not take tub baths until you discuss it with your doctor at the first appointment after your surgery.

    How do I care for my incision?

    The location of your incision will depend on the type of surgery you had. It is normal to have numbness of the skin below the incision because some of the nerves were cut; this sensation will lessen over time.

    • By the time you are ready to leave the hospital, your surgical incision will have begun to heal.
    • You and your caregiver should look at your incision with your nurse before you leave the hospital so you know what it looks like.
    • If any liquid is draining from your incision, you should write down the amount and color. Call your doctor’s office and speak with the nurse about any drainage from your incision.

    Change your bandages at least once a day and more often if they become wet with drainage. When there is no longer any drainage coming from your incision, they can be left uncovered.

    If you go home with Steri-Strips on your incision, they will loosen and fall off by themselves. If they haven’t fallen off within 10 days, you may remove them.

    If you go home with glue over your sutures (stitches), it will also loosen and peel off, similarly to the Steri-Strips.

    How will my diet change after my surgery?

    You will need to follow a diabetic diet. A balanced diet will help keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. Your healthcare team will have discussed your diet with you. If you have any questions, you can reach your dietitian at 212-639-7312.

    You may have a lack of appetite after your surgery. Try to eat small amounts of your favorite foods often throughout the day. It is important that you do not skip entire meals because this could cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Hypoglycemia can be very serious if it is not treated. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include feeling faint, problems seeing, headache, shakiness, sweating, and a fast, forceful heartbeat.

    Always carry a source of sugar with you. It can be hard candy or glucose tablets. Take it immediately if you have any symptoms of hypoglycemia.

    Will I lose weight?

    You may lose weight during the first couple of weeks after your surgery. You may regain the weight slowly as your appetite and capacity for food improves, but not everyone does. Your goal is to maintain your new weight.

    When is it safe for me to drive?

    You may resume driving 2 to 3 weeks after surgery as long as you are not taking pain medication that may make you drowsy.

    What exercises can I do?

    Exercise will help you gain strength and feel better. Walking and stair climbing are excellent forms of exercise. Gradually increase the distance you walk. Ask your doctor or nurse before starting more strenuous exercises.

    When can I lift heavy objects?

    Check with your doctor before you do any heavy lifting. Normally, you shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) for at least 6 weeks after your surgery. Ask your doctor how long you should avoid heavy lifting.

    When is my first appointment after my surgery?

    Your first appointment after surgery will be 10 to 14 days after you leave the hospital. Your nurse will give you instructions on how to make this appointment, including the phone number to call.

    How can I cope with my feelings?

    After surgery for a serious illness, you may have new and upsetting feelings. Many people say they felt weepy, sad, worried, nervous, irritable, and angry at one time or another. You may find that you cannot control some of these feelings. If this happens, it’s a good idea to seek emotional support.

    The first step in coping is to talk about how you feel. Family and friends can help. Your nurse, doctor, and social worker can reassure, support, and guide you. It is always a good idea to let these professionals know how you, your family, and your friends are feeling emotionally. Many resources are available to patients and their families. Whether you are in the hospital or at home, the nurses, doctors, and social workers are here to help you and your family and friends handle the emotional aspects of your illness.

    What if I have other questions?

    If you have any questions or concerns, please talk with your doctor or nurse. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, call 212-639-2000 and ask for the doctor on call for your doctor.

    • A temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
    • Chills
    • Increased redness or drainage around your incision
    • Increased pain or new pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation that does not get better in 2 to 3 days
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • A hard time keeping your blood sugar levels within your target range
    • Any new or unexplained symptoms
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    MSK Resources

    Anesthesia
    212-639-6840

    Call with any questions about anesthesia.

    Blood Donor Room
    212-639-7643

    Call for more information if you are interested in donating blood or platelets.

    Bobst International Center
    888-675-7722

    MSK welcomes patients from around the world. If you are an international patient, call for help arranging your care.

    Chaplaincy Service
    212-639-5982

    At MSK, our chaplains are available to listen, help support family members, pray, contact community clergy or faith groups, or simply be a comforting companion and a spiritual presence. Anyone can request spiritual support, regardless of formal religious affiliation. The interfaith chapel is located near the main lobby of Memorial Hospital, and is open 24 hours a day. If you have an emergency, please call the hospital operator and ask for the chaplain on call.

    Counseling Center
    646-888-0200

    Many people find that counseling helps them. We provide counseling for individuals, couples, families, and groups, as well as medications to help if you feel anxious or depressed.

    Integrative Medicine Service
    646-888-0800

    Integrative Medicine Service offers patients many services to complement traditional medical care, including music therapy, mind/body therapies, dance and movement therapy, yoga, and touch therapy.

    Look Good Feel Better Program
    800-227-2345

    Learn techniques to help you feel better about your appearance by taking a workshop or visiting the program online at www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.

    Patient-to-Patient Support Program
    212-639-5007

    You may find it comforting to speak with a cancer survivor or caregiver who has been through a similar treatment. Through our Patient-to-Patient Support Program, we are able to offer you a chance to speak with former patients and caregivers.

    Patient Billing
    646-227-3378

    Call Patient Billing with any questions regarding preauthorization with your insurance company. This is also called preapproval.

    Patient Representative Office
    212-639-7202

    Call if you have any questions about the Health Care Proxy Form or if you have any concerns about your care.

    Perioperative Nurse Liaison
    212-639-5935

    Call if you have any questions about MSK releasing any information while you are having surgery.

    Private Duty Nursing Office
    212-639-6892

    You may request private nurses or companions. Call for more information.

    Resources for Life After Cancer (RLAC) Program
    646-888-8106

    At MSK, care doesn’t end after active treatment. The RLAC Program is for patients and their families who have finished treatment. This program has many services, including seminars, workshops, support groups, counseling on life after treatment, and help with insurance and employment issues.

    Social Work
    212-639-7020

    Social workers help patients, family, and friends deal with issues that are common for cancer patients. They provide individual counseling and support groups throughout the course of treatment, and can help you communicate with children and other family members. Our social workers can also help referring you to community agencies and programs, as well as financial resources if you’re eligible.

    Tobacco Treatment Program
    212-610-0507

    If you want to quit smoking, MSK has specialists who can help. Call for more information.

    For additional online information, visit LIBGUIDES on MSK’s library website at library.mskcc.org or the pancreatic cancer section of mskcc.org. You can also contact the library reference staff at 212-639-7439 for help.

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    External Resources

    Access-A-Ride
    877-337-2017

    In New York City, the MTA offers a shared ride, door-to-door service for people with disabilities who are unable to take the public bus or subway.

    Air Charity Network
    877-621-7177

    Provides travel to treatment centers.

    American Cancer Society (ACS)
    800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345)

    Offers a variety of information and services, including Hope Lodge, a free place for patients and caregivers to stay during cancer treatment.

    Cancer and Careers

    A comprehensive resource for education, tools, and events for employees with cancer.

    CancerCare
    800-813-4673
    275 Seventh Avenue (Between West 25th & 26th Streets)
    New York, NY 10001

    Provides counseling, support groups, educational workshops, publications, and financial assistance.

     
    Cancer Support Community

    Provides support and education to people affected by cancer.

    Caregiver Action Network
    800-896-3650

    Provides education and support for those who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability.

    Corporate Angel Network
    866-328-1313

    Offer free travel to treatment across the country using empty seats on corporate jets.

    Gilda’s Club
    212-647-9700

    A place where men, women, and children living with cancer find social and emotional support through networking, workshops, lectures, and social activities.

    Good Days
    877-968-7233

    Offers financial assistance to pay for copayments during treatment. Patients must have medical insurance,meet the income criteria, and be prescribed medication that is part of the Good Days formulary.

    Healthwell Foundation
    800-675-8416

    Provides financial assistance to cover copayments, health care premiums, and deductibles for certain medications and therapies.

    Joe’s House
    877-563-7468

    Provides a list of places to stay near treatment centers for people with cancer and their families.

    LGBT Cancer Project

    Provides support and advocacy for the LGBT community, including a online support groups and a database of LGBT friendly clinical trials.

    LIVESTRONG Fertility
    855-744-7777

    Provides reproductive information and support to cancer patients and survivors whose medical treatments have risks associated with infertility.

    National Cancer Institute

    800-4-CANCER (800-422-6237)

    National Cancer Legal Services Network

    Free cancer legal advocacy program.

    National LGBT Cancer Network

    Provides education, training, and advocacy for LGBT cancer survivors and those at risk.

    Needy Meds

    Lists Patient Assistance Programs for brand and generic name medications.

    NYRx

    Provides prescription benefits to eligible employees and retirees of public sector employers in New York State.

    Partnership for Prescription Assistance
    888-477-2669

    Helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get free or low-cost medications.

    Patient Access Network Foundation
    866-316-7263

    Provides assistance with copayments for patients with insurance.

    Patient Advocate Foundation
    800-532-5274

    Provides access to care, financial assistance, insurance assistance, job retention assistance, and access to the national underinsured resource directory.

    RxHope
    877-267-0517

    Provides assistance to help people obtain medications that they have trouble affording.

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