When resection of the head of the pancreas is carried out, partial gastrectomy, total duodenectomy and some sort of anastomosis between the biliary tract and the stomach or small intestine are integral parts of the operative procedure. Such extensive surgical operations cannot be done without interfering to some degree with the normal functioning of the gastrointestional tract. It was the purpose of this study to assess the degree of impairment of the digestive and absorptive functions of the gastrointestinal tract brought about by this operation and to evaluate ways by which such impairment of function could be reduced. This was done by means of intake-excretion studies with standard test diets. Similar studies of normal persons had previously been carried out with two of the same test diets for control purposes.
Ten patients who had undergone resection of the head of the pancreas consented to be studied. Two of