Familial adenomatous polyposis monitoring, Whipple procedure gave my husband more time

When he was 15, my husband Jesse underwent a colectomy, a procedure that removed his colon. Jesse opted to do this after learning that he had familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a genetic condition that caused him to develop polyps throughout his gastrointestinal tract and put him at increased risk for colorectal cancer. Fifteen years later, a routine endoscopy showed that Jesse had a lot of polyps in his abdominal area. We needed to see a specialist. At a family member’s recommendation, we came to MD Anderson to see Dr. Patrick Lynch. Familial adenomatous polyposis, then a colorectal cancer diagnosis Up until that point, Jesse and I thought his colon removal would prevent him from developing cancer. However, Dr. Lynch explained that Jesse’s continued polyp growth meant he was still at high risk for colorectal cancer. We returned to MD Anderson every six months for a new endoscopy, and over the years, Jesse’s condition worsened. This past summer, the pathology report on a polyp removed from his duodenum showed high-grade dysplasia, meaning the polyp looked more abnormal – and more like cancer. Dr. Lynch immediately sent us to Dr. Matthew Katz, who said Jesse needed to undergo a Whipple procedure, a surgery to remove his gallbladder, duodenum as well as a part of his pancreas and stomach. Jesse’s Whipple procedure Dr. Katz explained that Jesse’s surgery would be riskier than most because his pancreas was healthy, which made it prone to leakage and fluid buildup, increasing his risk for an infection. To avoid any surprises, Dr. Katz prepared for surgery by performing a CT scan to identify scar tissue from...