Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a long, flat gland that sits tucked behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. The pancreas produces enzymes that help digestion and hormones that help regulate the way your body processes sugar (glucose).
Pancreatitis can occur as acute pancreatitis — meaning it appears suddenly and lasts for days. Some people develop chronic pancreatitis, which is pancreatitis that occurs over many years.
Mild cases of pancreatitis improve with treatment, but severe cases can cause life-threatening complications.
Signs and symptoms of pancreatitis may vary, depending on which type you experience.
Pancreatitis occurs when digestive enzymes become activated while still in the pancreas, irritating the cells of your pancreas and causing inflammation.
With repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis, damage to the pancreas can occur and lead to chronic pancreatitis. Scar tissue may form in the pancreas, causing loss of function. A poorly functioning pancreas can cause digestion problems and diabetes.
Conditions that can lead to acute pancreatitis include:
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a procedure used to treat gallstones, also can lead to pancreatitis.
Sometimes, a cause for pancreatitis is never found. This is known as idiopathic pancreatitis.
Milder cases can be managed on OPD basis or with few days of hospital stay, severe cases require ICU care, with organ support when necessary.
Few complications which arise after Acute pancreatitis might warrant Surgical treatment as well.