Fixing Mr. Juers
Welding engineer Raymond Juers and surgical oncologist Glen Gibson, M.D., both love to fix things.
Mr. Juers has spent countless hours fixing broken motors. Dr. Gibson has spent many hours fixing Mr. Juers.
Diagnosed with lymphoma in 1998, Mr. Juers, 72, last year visited medical oncologist Stanley Watkins, M.D., for a regular checkup. “I had a few minor complaints, including some focusing problems,” said Mr. Juers, who lives in Arnold. “Dr. Watkins wanted to investigate a little further, and he ordered a CT scan. He found a tumor involving my duodenum, pancreas and bile duct glands.”
Gastroenterologist Anthony Calabrese, M.D., performed an upper endoscopy on the patient and determined from the biopsy that the tumor was an adenoma (a type of benign tumor) that was “not yet invasive.” Dr. Calabrese referred his patient to Dr. Gibson for surgery.
What followed in June 2007 was a 10-hour pancreaticoduodenectomy, also known as the “Whipple” procedure, performed by Dr. Gibson. Named after the surgeon who developed the technique in the 1930s, a Whipple is a complex procedure that involves removing the head of the pancreas, the duodendum, a portion of the bile duct, the gallbladder and sometimes a part of the stomach. The remaining parts of the pancreas, bile duct and stomach are then reattached to restore continuity of the gastrointestinal tract.
“It’s a big surgery,” said Dr. Gibson.
Mr. Juers, of Arnold, recovered well, although he had trouble gaining weight. More investigation by Drs. Calabrese, Gibson and Watkins showed Mr. Juers’ gastrointestinal system was not processing fat properly, and he had a Vitamin A deficiency. “The minerals and vitamins were taking the fat right out of my system,” he said, admitting he wasn’t as faithful as he should have been taking his pancreatic enzymes. Adjustments have resulted in desired weight gain.
Some six months after the Whipple, Mr. Juers returned to Dr. Gibson for a much shorter procedure: a hernia repair, a minimally invasive procedure that had him on the operating table for about an hour and enabled him to return home that evening.
“I am so grateful to Dr. Gibson and to all of my doctors,” said Mr. Juers. “They have extended my life.”
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