For treating Acute pancreatitis, it is important to bring down the inflammation of the pancreas. This can be done by hospitalization. The initial treatment includes:
Fasting: In order to give your pancreas rest and in turn a chance to recover. If vomiting occurs, a tube may be placed through the nose and into the stomach to remove fluid and air. During this time, you may be administered Intravenous fluids (IV) in order to provide the necessary energy to your body.
Diet: Once the inflammation in your pancreas is under control, you may be given clear liquids and eventually bland solid food. With time, you can resume your normal diet. However, if your pancreatitis persists and if you still experience pain when eating, your doctor may recommend a feeding tube to help you get nutrition.
Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to help control the pain, antibiotics.
Enzymes to improve digestion may be given.
Avoidance of Alcohol and smoking is to be done.
The stay in the hospital will depend on your condition and may vary from person to person. In case there are no complications, then your stay at the hospital could be shorter.
Once your pancreatitis is brought under control, it is important to treat the underlying cause of your pancreatitis. This treatment will depend on the cause of your pancreatitis.
Remove bile duct obstructions. Pancreatitis caused by a narrowed or blocked bile duct may require procedures to open or widen the bile duct in order to avoid recurrence of the problem. For this, a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is conducted. In this procedure, a long tube with a camera on the end is used to examine your pancreas and bile ducts. The tube is passed down your throat, and the camera then sends pictures of your digestive system to a monitor. ERCP can help in diagnosing problems that may exist in the bile duct and in rectifying the same.
Gallbladder surgery: If the pancreatitis is caused because of gallstones, then your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your gallbladder (cholecystectomy).
Pancreas surgery: A surgery for the pancreas may be necessary to drain the fluid from your pancreas or to remove the diseased tissue.
Abscess & necrotic pancreatic tissue- Exploratory surgery may be necessary to find the source of any bleeding, necrotic pancreatic tissue.
Pseudocysts drainage – Pseudocyst is accumulations of fluid and tissue debris in the pancreas & can be drained using ERCP or EUS. If left untreated, enzymes and toxins can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, or other organs.
A Laparoscopic surgery is performed by using just 3 or 4 half-inch or one-inch incisions instead of one large incision. Fine surgical instruments are used to carve out a tumor or to remove an entire section of a gland, after the nearby blood vessels are controlled.
The laparoscopic management of pancreatitis is one of the most challenging especially when we consider of pancreatic resection.
Our pancreas is located deep and in the centre of our abdomen. Also, pancreas is the softest organ in our abdomen and has a “wet sponge” like texture. This makes it a unique organ for the surgeons to conquer.
The pancreas lacks a capsule, or a covering, and is thus prone to bleed or leak juices with even a small degree of rough handling.
Hence, it is always better to get this surgery performed by a specialist who is familiar with the standard tissue handling techniques for the pancreas.
Here are some of the benefits of opting for a laparoscopic surgery of the pancreatitis:
Lower rates of blood transfusion
Quicker return to activity and work
Increased likelihood of preserving the spleen
Lower rates of wound infections and other complications
Lower rates of subsequent hernia development
Doctors generally recommend laparoscopic surgery for patients who have tumors at the pancreas tail. The candidacy for this type of treatment is determined by reviewing your CT scan images.
Larger tumors present in any part of the pancreas for which an open operation is required can be started laparoscopically in order to look for cancer spread before making the large incision. This helps you to avoid large incision at a time when comfort is the goal.
Seek an appointment with your doctor if you have persistent abdominal pain. You need immediate medical help if your abdominal pain is so severe that you are unable to sit still or find a position that makes you more comfortable