Pancreatic Care

Ohio GI/Gastro Health offers a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and medical management of pancreatic disorders including acute and chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and cystic lesions of the pancreas.

Acute pancreatitis refers to inflammation of the pancreas, causing a sudden onset of severe mid abdominal pain that typically radiates to the back. It usually develops as a result of gallstones passing through the common bile duct or as a result of moderate to heavy alcohol consumption over a period of years. Other causes include medications, genetic diseases, infectious agents, postoperative states, endoscopic procedures involving the pancreatic and bile ducts, and other types of injury to the pancreas.

Most attacks of acute pancreatitis do not lead to complications, and most people recover uneventfully with appropriate medical care. However, in a small proportion of people, acute pancreatitis takes a more serious course that requires intensive medical care. In all cases, it is essential to determine the underlying cause of acute pancreatitis and, if possible, to treat this condition to prevent a recurrence. Because the severity and course of acute pancreatitis can vary widely from person to person, the treatment is individualized.

Chronic pancreatitis refers to long-standing inflammation of the pancreas. Inflammation changes the pancreas’ ability to function normally. People with chronic pancreatitis require ongoing medical care to minimize their symptoms, to slow the progression of the condition whenever possible, and to address any complications that arise. In most cases, treatment controls but does not cure the underlying problem.

Pancreatic cancer (adenocarcinoma of the pancreas) along with other benign and malignant neoplasms (tumors) of the pancreas require accurate diagnosis and staging to optimize the probability for successful management of these disorders. Cystic neoplasms of the pancreas are often benign, but can be premalignant, such as cystadenomas and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN). Our physicians are expert in their correct diagnosis and optimal management.

While all Ohio GI physicians are trained to diagnose and treat pancreatic disorders, several of our physicians are fellowship-trained in the performance of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). In addition, ERCP procedures utilize additional specialized techniques including sphincter of Oddi manometry, sphincterotomy, stent placement, and cholangioscopy. Fine needle aspiration (FNA), Trucut needle biopsy, and celiac plexus block are valuable techniques utilized during EUS for diagnosis and management of pancreatic disorders. Endoscopic cystgastrostomy and cystduodenostomy are minimally invasive techniques to manage one complication of pancreatitis: pancreatic pseudocysts.

Our physicians are expert in utilizing clinical evaluation, laboratory and radiologic testing and the latest endoscopic techniques for the diagnosis and management of pancreatic disorders.