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Pancreatic Cysts

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There are three major types of pancreatic cysts. Pseudocysts are the most common type of pancreatic cyst and are often the result of pancreatitis. Other cyst types include benign forms (serous cystadenoma), premalignant (mucinous cystadenoma, IPMN) as well as malignant forms (cystadenocarcionoma).

What are pancreatic cysts?

Pancreatic cysts form on or in your pancreas and are filled with fluid and other matter. They may either be noncancerous, otherwise called pseudocysts, or cancerous and capable of spreading.

Who develops pancreatic cysts?

Factors that increase the risk of developing pancreatic cysts or pseudocysts include:

  • abdominal injury
  • pancreatitis (heavy alcohol use and gallstones are two causes of pancreatitis)

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cysts?

Pancreatic cysts may not cause any symptoms, or they may cause severe pain, usually within months of a pancreatitis attack. Other symptoms include:

  • abdominal or back pain
  • abdominal bloating
  • nausea
  • vomiting

It’s important to note that these symptoms could signal another illness. If you’re experiencing any of those listed above, make sure to get them checked out by your physician.

How are pancreatic cysts diagnosed?

Imaging such as transabdominal ultrasound, abdominal computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) may used.

How are pancreatic cysts treated?

Treatment options will depend on the type of cyst and whether it’s causing symptoms. Drainage and surgical removal are possible treatment options.

Valley Hospital is proud to offer the latest treatment options for pancreatic cysts, including minimally invasive surgery through its Institute for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery. For more information, call 201-447-8012. 

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