Pancreatic Cancer Specialist

Southern California Multi-Specialty Center

Vascular Surgeons & Pancreatic and Robotic Surgeons located in Porter Ranch, CA & Sherman Oaks, CA

Getting the best outcome from pancreatic cancer treatment depends on the experience of the surgeon. Dr. Babak Eghbalieh, at Southern California Hepatobiliary Pancreatic & Robotic Surgery Institute, is one of the top specialists in pancreatic surgery, including minimally-invasive robotic surgery, which uses cutting-edge technology to achieve optimal results. Dr. Eghbalieh sees patients throughout the Southern California area, with offices in Valencia, Porter Ranch, and Sherman Oaks, California, and a new office opening in Los Angeles in the near future.

Pancreatic Cancer Q & A

What is pancreatic cancer?

The pancreas is located deep in your abdomen, behind the stomach, where it produces and releases enzymes needed to digest food. It also produces insulin and glucagon, which are hormones that control blood sugar.

Several different types of cancers can develop in the pancreas, depending on where the cancer originates. However, about 85% of patients develop an aggressive type called adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.

What causes pancreatic cancer?

Experts don’t know the precise cause of pancreatic cancer, but they can identify a few factors that increase your risk of developing the disease, including:

  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Obesity
  • High-fat diet
  • Diabetes
  • Long-term inflammation of the pancreas
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Long-term exposure to certain chemicals

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

In the early stage, a tumor in the pancreas may not cause any symptoms. As the cancer grows, it causes symptoms such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine and clay-colored stools
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Diabetes
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or whites of eyes)
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the upper abdomen

How is pancreatic cancer treated?

The stage of the cancer and whether it has spread determine the type of treatment. Surgery is the first choice, but only when the cancer is surgically removable. With or without surgery, most patients need chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. Pancreatic cancer treatment always requires a team of specialists, including radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and liver and pancreatic surgeons — which is the expertise you’ll gain from Dr. Eghbalieh.

What minimally-invasive surgery does Dr. Eghbalieh perform for pancreatic cancer?

The type of surgery used to treat pancreatic cancer depends on the location of the tumor. However, Dr. Eghbalieh performs two primary types of surgery: A Whipple operation and a distal or central pancreatectomy.

In complex cases of pancreatic cancer and Whipple surgery, traditional open surgery may be required. Otherwise, Dr. Eghbalieh can perform both types of surgery using minimally-invasive, or laparoscopic surgery. Pancreatectomies may be done using minimally-invasive robotic surgery in some patients.

During laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Eghbalieh makes only a few small incisions and uses advanced equipment to remove the cancer and reconnect the remaining tissues. This type of surgery has fewer complications and faster recovery time compared to open surgery.

What is robot-assisted pancreatic surgery offered by Dr. Eghbalieh?

Advances in technology have resulted in cutting-edge, robot-assisted surgical systems, but these robotic systems are only as good as the surgeon operating the device. Dr. Eghbalieh has the expertise required to use robotic surgery for a complex procedure like pancreatic cancer treatment.   

Robot-assisted surgery, which is also minimally invasive, gives Dr. Eghbalieh a three-dimensional view of the pancreas and provides superior steadiness during the procedure. As Dr. Eghbalieh manipulates the robotic arms, he has the advantage of their extreme mobility, which allows him to perform intricate maneuvers, reach tight areas, and thoroughly remove the cancer and surrounding tissues.

Patients who need treatment for pancreatic cancer can receive robot-assisted surgery performed by Dr. Eghbalieh at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia.

Shop Now

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

Dr. Eghbalieh accepts many of the largest Insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the accepted plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Anthem Blue Cross of California
Blue Shield of California
Brand New Day
Community Family Care Medical Group IPA
Facey Medical Group
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Employee Benefit Plan
Imperial Health Holdings
Lakeside Medical Group
Regal Medical Group