The Pancreas Program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is recognized as a leader in the treatment of complex digestive diseases. Included within the umbrella of digestive diseases under the subspecialty of advanced endoscopy are conditions affecting the pancreas. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ), located on our campus, provides a unique partnership in the treatment of all cancers including pancreatic cancer.

Our mission

The mission of the Pancreas Program at RWJUH is to provide patients with early detection and diagnosis, with individualized and compassionate care consisting of curative treatments, palliative treatments, and alleviation of suffering across the spectrum of pancreatic diseases. The Pancreas Program allows for the opportunity to care for individuals with both benign and malignant pancreatic conditions.

Background and current resources

The Pancreas Program at RWJUH is built on the principle of integrated care, focusing on prevention, screening, treatment, support, research, and education for individuals who have or who are at risk for developing pancreatic disease. The Pancreas Program is co-led by Medical Director, Dr. Michel Kahaleh and Surgical Director, Dr. David August. This partnership offers a symbiotic expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic diseases between CINJ and RWJUH. The Pancreas Program is a multidisciplinary collaboration with key members from many departments across the institution.

RWJUH provides administrative support as well as care coordination expertise from Clinical Program Coordinators. RWJUH has recently invested in acquiring innovative technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic diseases. These include confocal endomicroscopy, optical coherence tomography, laser for lithotripsy, radiofrequency ablation probes and generators, fourth generation endoscopic instruments and state-of-the-art interventional endoscopy rooms.

Provided services

  • Diseases treated: Acute pancreatitis, Chronic pancreatitis, Pancreatic fluid collections, Walled off pancreatic necrosis, Auto-immune pancreatitis, Pancreatic cancer, Pancreatic trauma, Pancreas divisum
  • Faculty/Expertise: Advanced endoscopy, Surgery, Nutrition, Pain management, Oncology, Radiation oncology

Education and outreach

The Pancreas Program enables multidisciplinary collaboration to optimize and individualize patient care with weekly presentations and discussions regarding management of pancreatic cases. Additionally, the Pancreas Program facilitates medical education and community outreach efforts by offering physician training symposia and patient support groups. Through the Pancreas Program, RWJUH physicians are able to solidify their role as leaders in both performing and teaching innovative techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic conditions.

Care coordination

A critical component of the Pancreas Program is the provision of care in a highly coordinated and streamlined manner. This includes the receipt of patient medical records, outside imaging, and, when possible, the coordination of multiple consultations and procedures on the same day. The movement from the inpatient to outpatient setting is facilitated by dedicated nurse practitioners on both the medical and surgical sides. Coordination of care ensures that all members of the Pancreas Program are apprised of patient progress and will increase the number of patients available for research studies.

Research

In order to expand opportunities for clinical trials in pancreatic diseases at RWJUH, the Pancreas Program leadership is focusing on developing a clinical trials inventory and a patient database. Additionally, Pancreas Program gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiologists, and researchers are working together to develop opportunities for islet cell transplantation for chronic pancreatitis at RWJUH. An established Pancreas Program promotes continued collaboration and allows physicians and researchers to continuously develop and improve clinical and translational research opportunities.




Patient Stories

  • Since the procedure, Mitchell has been able to enjoy food again, as well as increased energy and overall well-being.

    Mitch
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