Whipple Warrior Susan takes on Ride London for Guts UK in recovery from pancreatitis

24th July 2018

“I started cycling when I was 50 & soon realised what I had been missing for the past 30 years! I quickly became quite an enthusiastic cyclist and have ticked off John O’Groats to Lands End (9 days!), London to Paris (3 days) as well as a few of the classic alpine cols and some time trialling. But it all started to go wrong for me on the very first Ride London 100 after the Surrey hills when I had a major pancreatic attack. I took a break from cycling but the symptoms returned and I started on my Whipple* journey.

The issues seem to have arisen from my duodenal diverticulum and the ampulla of vater being hidden inside one of the loops! So following a cholecystectomy, hepaticojejunostomy, 3 sphincterotomies and 5 pancreatic stents (13 ERCPS!) which had limited results I was Whippled on18th May last year. I’m trying to get back into cycling but its very frustrating with Strava remembering how fast I used to be! But the important thing for me is that I’m enjoying my bike again!”

  • What is the Whipple’s Operation? The Whipple’s operation was named after Dr Allen Whipple who first performed the operation during the 1930s, but you may occasionally hear it referred to as a pancreaticoduodenectomy. During the operation, the head of the pancreas, a portion of the bile duct, the gallbladder and the duodenum are removed. Part of the stomach is usually removed too. The remaining pancreas, bile duct and stomach are then rejoined to the intestine, which allows pancreatic juice, bile and food to flow back into the gut so that digestion can continue normally. Find out more here:



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