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Pancreatitis

The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach that secretes digestive enzymes, as well as the hormones insulin and glucagon. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas caused by the pancreas’s enzymes destroying its own tissue. Pancreatitis is acute when it occurs once and, with proper treatment, the organ returns to normal. Chronic pancreatitis is similar to acute pancreatitis, except when the disease is chronic, the inflammation doesn’t improve. Severe cases can cause complications that may be life-threatening.

Common Symptoms

Acute pancreatitis symptoms:

  • Upper abdominal pain that may also radiate to your back
  • Abdominal pain that worsens after eating
  • Fever
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Rapid pulse
  • Abdomen that is tender to the touch

Chronic pancreatitis symptoms:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Oily, smelly stool
  • Weight loss

Treatment Options

Once hospitalized your treatment may have several components, including:

  • Pain medication, as pancreatitis can cause severe pain
  • Fasting for a couple days to give your pancreas the opportunity to recover
  • IV fluids to prevent dehydration as you recover

Once the situation is under control, your doctors will try to determine the cause of this condition. Some of the possible treatments include: a procedure to remove bile duct obstructions, gallbladder surgery if gallstones caused the problem, pancreatic surgery to drain fluid from the organ, and/or alcohol dependence treatment if this is part of the problem.

Previous Page Last Review Date: April 20, 2020
Pancreatitis Team
Adrian Legaspi, MD, FACS

Adrian Legaspi, MD, FACS

Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016
Amit Vinay Sastry, MD

Amit Vinay Sastry, MD

Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016
Vanitha Vasudevan, MD, FACS

Vanitha Vasudevan, MD, FACS

General Surgery, Oncology Surgery
Hialeah 33016