Pancreatic cysts are sac-like pockets of fluid that develop on the pancreas, the organ located behind the stomach that produces enzymes and hormones that aid digestion.
Most cysts such as Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN), are not cancerous but can become so over time. They usually develop as a result of another problem such as gallstones or alcohol use. Some cysts result from genetic disorders.
SYMPTOMS OF PANCREATIC CYSTS
Pancreatic cysts often show up when imaging the abdomen for other problems but have few symptoms. When symptoms are present, they include:
- Persistent pain in the abdomen that radiates to the back
- An upper abdominal mass that you can feel
- Nausea and vomiting
Occasionally, pancreatic cysts can become infected and then rupture, which can infect the abdominal cavity peritonitis or damaged nearby blood vessels and trigger massive bleeding.
An infected cyst may show symptoms such as fainting and abdominal pain, but a ruptured cyst can result in decreased consciousness a weak, rapid heartbeat, and vomiting up blood.
WHAT TO EXPECT WITH A PANCREATIC CYST
If your doctor suspects a pancreatic cyst, he may recommend a CT scan, MRI scan, or endoscopic ultrasound, especially if your medical history indicates a previous abdominal injury or pancreatitis. If the tests indicate the presence of a cyst, surgery is usually the next step for most types of cysts.
SCHEDULE PANCREATIC CYST TESTING AT OASIS ADVANCED GASTROENTEROLOGY
Imaging is necessary to locate pancreatic cysts and determine the next step. Contact Oasis Advanced Gastroenterology in Palm Springs to schedule an exam and testing with Dr. Asgeri.
Request an appointment online or call 760-699-7607.