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Acute pancreatitis

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Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation that suddenly develops in the pancreas. Sudden pain in the upper part of the abdomen is the most important complaint. Obstruction of the bile duct s and pancreatic ducts with gall stone and drinking alcohol are the causes of the acute pancreatitis. In addition, tumors, cystic traumas and endoscopic examinations and stomach surgery can also cause the acute pancreatitis. If pancreatic attacks are recurrent and persistent, its name as chronic pancreatitis.


The most common symptom of the acute pancreatitis is sudden pain in the upper part of the abdomen. Pain is usually worse when lying down, but it may feel less intense when sitting or bending. Sometimes, the pain encircles your spine and is felt along the waist. Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Increased pulse
  • The pain spread from the abdomen to the back and chest
  • Abdominal sensitivity, feeling pain when touched
  • Swelling of the abdomen
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Severe complications

Severe pain associated with pancreatitis is normally associated with remaining of the enzymes digesting foods activated in the small intestine in the pancreas and affecting the pancreas. Pancreatitis also affects the insulin secretion required to regulate the body's sugar level. Pancreatic enzymes also cause damaging of the vessels along with the damaging effects on pancreatic tissue.It causes formation of pancreatic cysts, abscesses around the pancreas and deficiency and injuries of other parts of the body including lungs. Acute pancreatitis can also cause diabetes if severe.

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Your doctor may suspect that acute pancreatitis is related with your previous treatment and symptoms. There are several tests and procedures for assisting the doctor in diagnosing:

Blood Tests: analysis of abnormal pancreatic enzymes helping the digestion in the blood. Increase in the level of amylase and lipase is essential for diagnosing.

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Abdominal Ultrasound Examination (USE): Sound waves are used instead of x-rays in this method. Images can reveal gall - bladder and gall - bladder obstructions. During this procedure, the USE probe is placed on the abdomen and the images are transferred to the computer monitor. The abdominal USE is used commonly in pregnant women.

Abdominal CT (Computer Tomography) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Gallstones and gallbladder obstructions can be revealed by the abdominal CT or MRI. Both of these tests are non-invasive imaging modalities of the bile duct images shown on the computer monitor. Accuracy is quite high.

Endoscopic Examination and ERCP: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or ERCP is a special endoscopic method used to study gall bladder, pancreas and bile ducts and is a treating tool. EDCP is used for more than 30 years and is accepted as a standard method for the diagnosis and treatment of gall bladder diseases. During ERCP, along with a light anaesthetic substance, the patients are given anaesthesia for numbing the throat. Afterwards, your gastroenterologist enters the stomach and intestine through the mouth with an endoscope with a mobile camera anaesthesia. When your gastroenterologist sees the gall - bladder and pancreas ducts on the monitor, he\she enters a fine USE probe through ERCP. Light wave signals are used instead of x-rays for better viewing the bile and pancreatic ducts through the endoscopic USE. Special preparations are necessary for the endoscopic intervention.

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Click here to get detailed information about the treatment of acute pancreatitis!

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