Pancreas Surgery

Pancreatitis

What is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is actually an inflammation of the pancreas. This inflammation could be an acute one which could eventually disappear in some days. However, if the inflammation is chronic then it can span through years.

Pancreatitis causes attacks of abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting worsened by eating and drinking alcohol. Acute Pancreatitis can be life threatening.

What Is Pancreas?

The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum. The pancreas secretes digestive juices (enzymes) into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes along with bile helps in digestion of food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon. These hormones help the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy.

Symptoms of Pancreatitis

Here are some of the symptoms that you need to look for:

  • Upper abdominal pain

  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back

  • Abdominal pain that feels worse after eating

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Swelling &Tenderness in the abdomen

Chronic pancreatitis signs and symptoms include

  • Indigestion

  • Losing weight without trying

  • Oily, smelly stools (steatorrhea)

Severe Acute Pancreatitis May cause Dehydration and Low blood pressure

Causes of Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis happens when the digestive enzymes produced by our pancreas get activated while being inside the pancreas thereby causing damage to the organ.

Normally, pancreatic digestive enzymes do not become active until they reach the small intestine.

A number of causes have been identified for acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis, including:

  • Alcoholism

  • Gallstones

  • Abdominal surgery

  • Certain medications

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), when used to treat gallstones

  • Family history of pancreatitis

  • High calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia)

  • High levels of parathyroid hormone in the blood (hyperparathyroidism)

  • High triglyceride levels in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia)

  • Infection

  • Injury to the abdomen

  • Pancreatic cancer

How is acute Pancreatitis Diagnosed?

  • Through medical history and physical examination

  • Blood test:

Pancrease enzyme levels During acute pancreatitis amylase and lipase are increased almost 3 times.

Glucose, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and bicarbonate

Abdomen Ultra Sonography:

  • CT Scan may show gall stones and extent of damage to pancreas

  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) to see visual images of the pancreas and bile duct.

  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). MRCP uses magnetic imaging tht produces cross section images of parts of the body, help to show pancreas, gall bladder , pancreas and bile ducts.

Pancreatitis in Children?

Chronic pancreatitis in children is rare. More often cause of pancreatitis in children is unknown, often preceded by viral infection such as URI. Trauma to the pancreas and hereditary pancreatitis are two known causes of childhood pancreatitis. Children with cystic fibrosis may be at risk of developing pancreatitis


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