The pancreas is a gland, situated near the stomach that secretes pancreatic juice into the intestine that aids in digestion. It also secretes the hormone insulin and glucagon for blood sugar regulation.
There are a variety of disorders of the pancreas including pancreatic pseudocysts, pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer.
- Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back; it may be aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat.
- Swollen and tender abdomen
- Nausea, vomiting and weight loss
- Fever and Increased heart rate
- Jaundice (yellow skin)
- Dark urine and light stool color
- Itching and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
Diagnosis is through a physical examination, Blood tests, CT (computed tomography) scan, endoscopic ultrasound, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). There are also instances in which surgical exploration is the only way to confirm the diagnosis of pancreatic disease
Pancreatic pseudocyst are treated through drainage (endoscopic, Percutaneous catheter drainage or open/ laparoscopic surgery). Pancreatitis and cancer are managed with pain and nausea medication and eventually surgical repair or removal of affected pancreas.