This study attempted to clarify whether limited pancreatectomy (duodenum-preserving total pancreatic head resection [DPTPHR], or medial pancreatectomy [MP], maintain pancreatic exocrine function more than conventional pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple) or pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy (PPPD). A total of 125 patients (18 with Whipple, 71 with PPPD, 13 with DPTPHR, and 23 with MP) were studied. Fecal chymotrypsin and p-type amylase, and pancreatic function diagnostant (PFD) tests were used for evaluation. There were no differences in preoperative background. Pancreatic function was seen to be significantly lower after surgery than before surgery in patients who underwent the Whipple procedure and PPPD (P < 0.05), but there was no difference between pre- and postoperative pancreatic function in patients who underwent DPTPHR and MP. Postoperative pancreatic function was shown to be significantly worse in Whipple procedure and PPPD patients than in those with DPTPHR and MP (P < 0.05). Patients who underwent the Whipple procedure and PPPD showed significantly lower pancreatic function than patients who underwent DPTPHR and MP (P < 0.05). There was no difference in pancreatic function between patients who underwent DPTPHR and those with MP. DPTPHR and MP, both of which preserve the entire duodenum, maintain pancreatic function more than the Whipple procedure and PPPD.