Surgical Procedures

Pancreatic Cyst Treatment in Phoenix AZ

The pancreas is an organ within the abdomen that produces hormones and enzymes that aid the body in its digestion of food. Occasionally, sacs of fluid can develop on the pancreas. These are known as pancreatic cysts.

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What Causes of Pancreatic Cysts?

The exact cause of pancreatic cysts is not known, but influential factors consist of:

  • Having a genetic disorder called Hippel-Lindau disease
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Abdominal injury
  • Gallstones
  • Previous diagnosis of pancreatitis

Signs and Symptoms

Most individuals with pancreatic cysts will not even realize that they have them. A majority of these cysts are not diagnosed until testing is done for some unrelated condition that the patient is experiencing.

However, those that do encounter symptoms of pancreatic cysts will usually report having:

  • Abdominal pain that does not subside
  • Pain radiating from the abdomen to the person’s back
  • Being able to feel a mass within the abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting

Types of Pancreatic Cysts

There are a few variations of pancreatic cysts, with the most common being:

  • Pseudocysts
  • Serous cyst – a pancreatic cyst containing a thin fluid.
  • Mucinous cyst – a cyst of the pancreas that is filled with a thick fluid.

Because pancreatic cysts are abnormal growths, many people assume the worst by thinking that they are cancerous when in fact most pancreatic cysts are benign. It is certainly possible for pancreatic cysts to be cancerous, or to become cancerous, but these are usually limited to subtypes of a mucinous cyst known as:

  • Mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN)
  • Intrapapillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN)

Most pancreatic cysts can be defined and detected using imaging tests like an MRI, but an endoscopic ultrasound may be conducted if your doctor would like to get a more in-depth view of the cyst.

Course of Treatment

It is often best to leave pancreatic cysts alone unless there is a significant reason to suspect that the cyst is cancerous. Any surgery involving the pancreas can be very hard on the body, which is why many physicians suggest avoiding it unless absolutely necessary.

Pancreatic cysts can become very dangerous to patients if they become infected or rupture. If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Blood in your vomit
  • Fainting, or difficulty to remain conscious
  • A weak and rapid heartbeat

If you are experiencing any of these dangerous symptoms, schedule an appointment at Agave Surgical Specialists today.

Sources:

3 https://pancreasfoundation.org/patient-information/ailments-pancreas/pancreatic-cysts/