Pancreatic Diseases

The Pancreatic Disease Program supports patients with pancreatic diseases and offers advanced research in early detection of pancreatic cancer, advanced pancreatic endoscopic therapy and pancreatic cancer treatment.

Our highly skilled physicians and surgeons are specially trained in advanced endoscopic procedures, pancreatic surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology pathology, radiology and cancer genetics. We offer the following procedures for pancreatic diseases:

We treat a variety of pancreatic diseases including:

Patients with a family history of pancreatic cancer, certain inherited genes, pancreatic cysts and new onset diabetes may be at increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer. The Pancreas Cancer Early Detection Clinic offers patients and their families access to multidisciplinary evaluation of family and genetic risk factors for pancreatic cancer.

The Gastrointestinal Cancers Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital offers patients easy access to specialized care for pancreatic cancer, including new approaches to the treatment of the disease through clinical trials.

Pancreatic cysts are collections of fluid located in or on the pancreas. There are two types of pancreatic cysts: non-neoplastic or neoplastic cysts.

Symptoms

Symptoms of pancreatic cysts may not occur, but if they do, you will likely experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating or feeling full when you begin eating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss
Diagnosis

Imaging technology is used to diagnose pancreatic cysts, including:

  • CT scan
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • MRI scan and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
Treatment

If you have a cyst that is benign and is not causing pain, it can be monitored. Certain inflammatory cysts causing symptoms or growing can be drained by an endoscope or radiology procedure. Some types of pancreatic cysts require surgical removal if they pose a risk of cancer. We take a multidisciplinary approach to treating and managing pancreatic cysts.

Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas and can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Mild cases may go away without treatment, but severe cases can cause serious complications.

Symptoms

Symptoms of pancreatitis vary depending on the type you are experiencing, and may be recurrent.

Acute pancreatitis symptoms include:

  • Abdomen pain after eating
  • Abdomen tenderness
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Rapid pulse
  • Upper abdomen pain
  • Vomiting

Chronic pancreatitis symptoms include:

  • Oily stools
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Upper abdomen pain
Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose pancreatitis include:

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Blood tests
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • MRI scan and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
  • Stool tests
Treatment

Initial treatments aim to give the pancreas time to recover and the inflammation to go down. Once the pancreatitis is under control, the underlying cause of the pancreatitis may be identified and treated. These treatments include: