Pancreas Treatments

Drainage of Pancreatic Pseudocysts

Most pancreatic pseudocysts do not cause symptoms and will go away on their own. However, if a pseudocyst is larger than 5 cm, is at risk of infection or rupture, or causes symptoms such as nausea or pain in the stomach or back, your doctor may recommend drainage. This can be performed in a number of ways.

•    Surgical Drainage – During surgical drainage, the surgeon creates a connection between the pseudocyst and the stomach or intestine. Many pseudocysts fill with pancreatic fluids, and this method allows drainage to continue indefinitely following the procedure if necessary. Surgical drainage can either be performed using open or less-invasive laparoscopic techniques.

•    Endoscopic Drainage – Draining a pseudocyst endoscopically involves the use of an endoscope, a thin tube with a camera or instruments attached to the end that is threaded down the throat and into the stomach. There, the physician can either create a surgical connection between the pseudocyst and the digestive tract, or place a hollow tube (stent) between the pseudocyst and the digestive tract.

•    Radiologic Drainage – Using this method, a radiologist uses ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) imaging to guide a needle into the cyst and remove the fluid using the syringe.

Pancreas Conditions