Table of Contents
ISRN Nursing
Volume 2012, Article ID 602323, 8 pages
Research Article

Health Is Belonging: Lived Experiences during Recovery after Pancreaticoduodenectomy

1Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 41345 Gothenburg, Sweden
2Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden
3Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Box 157, 22100 Lund, Sweden

Received 12 October 2012; Accepted 6 November 2012

Academic Editors: B. Mandleco, T. T. Wan, and T. R. Webster

Copyright © 2012 Thomas Andersson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to explore the lived experience of the symptoms, health, and illness reported by patients recovering after pancreaticoduodenectomy ad modum Whipple due to pancreatic or periampullary cancer. Thirteen patients with pancreatic or periampullary cancer who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy ad modum Whipple between 2006 and 2008 were interviewed during postoperative recovery. Data were analysed using the phenomenological-hermeneutic method. The structural analysis of patient experiences revealed that recovery after pancreaticoduodenectomy was described as recapturing everyday life, being healthy, and looking to the future. Participants experienced symptoms but did not dwell on them, instead they stated that their general health was good. They strived to regain their former precancer selves and be a part of as well as contribute to the social context. Overall, the participants’ view of the future was positive, and improvement in their health generated further confidence and encouragement. This study suggests that persons recovering from pancreaticoduodenectomy ad modum Whipple due to a pancreatic or periampullary tumour experience health despite postoperative symptoms. They manage their symptoms by means of different strategies and express a positive view of the future. Nurses working with such patients should adopt a person-centred approach focusing on patient perspectives, participation, and possibilities.