Pancreas Conditions

Pancreatic Pseudocsyts

As the name suggests, pseudocysts are not actually cysts. They are not sacs, but rather cavities inside the pancreas that are surrounded by fibrous tissue. They often contain a fluid that includes enzymes released by the exocrine pancreas. Pancreatic pseudocysts occur in about one in 1000 adults.

Pseudocysts are most commonly a result of pancreatitis. During pancreatitis, the pancreatic ducts become swollen, which can cause blockage of or damage to the ducts, and this injury can result in the formation of a pseudocyst.

Pseudocysts are not cancerous, but can cause painful or uncomfortable symptoms, such as nausea, pain in the stomach and back, and a feeling of fullness or bloating, especially if they become large. Drainage, either surgically or using a less invasive procedure, is often recommended to relieve these symptoms and reduce the risk of subsequent complications.

If left untreated, a pancreatic pseudocyst can become infected (pancreatic abscess), and even burst, which can cause life-threatening complications, including excess internal bleeding (hemorrhage). A ruptured or bleeding pseudocyst is a medical emergency.

Pancreas Treatments