Treatments for Acute Pancreatitis
Treatments for Acute Pancreatitis:
The goal of treatment of acute pancreatitis is to control symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, and minimize the secretion of digestive enzymes to allow the pancreas to heal. Treatment also aims to prevent the development of serious complications, such as chronic pancreatitis, malabsorption, and malnutrition, kidney failure, and pseudocyst.
The first step in treatment is prevention. Many cases of acute pancreatitis cannot be prevented, but the risk of developing the disease can be reduced by not smoking at all or drinking alcohol to excess.
Acute pancreatitis is treated in the hospital, generally for a few days. Treatment includes the intravenous administration of antibiotics, fluids, and pain medications, and monitoring for the development of complications. Treatment also includes withholding food and drinks during this time so that the pancreas is not stimulated to make more digestive enzymes, which will cause more symptoms. Medications are also given to prevent nausea and vomiting.
In severe cases, longer hospitalization is required, and it may be necessary to feed a person a special liquid diet through a tube that is inserted into the stomach while the pancreas rests and heals.
Treatment List for Acute Pancreatitis
The list of treatments mentioned in various sources
for Acute Pancreatitis
includes the following list.
Always seek professional medical advice about any treatment
or change in treatment plans.
Acute Pancreatitis: Is the Diagnosis Correct?
The first step in getting correct treatment is
to get a correct diagnosis.
Differential diagnosis list for Acute Pancreatitis may include:
Hidden causes of Acute Pancreatitis may be incorrectly diagnosed:
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Hospital statistics for Acute Pancreatitis:
These medical statistics relate to hospitals, hospitalization and Acute Pancreatitis:
- 0.14% (18,109) of hospital consultant episodes were for acute pancreatitis in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 74% of hospital consultant episodes for acute pancreatitis required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 62% of hospital consultant episodes for acute pancreatitis were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
- 38% of hospital consultant episodes for acute pancreatitis were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
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Hospitals & Medical Clinics: Acute Pancreatitis
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Discussion of treatments for Acute Pancreatitis:
Treatment depends on how bad the attack is. If no complications in the
form of kidney failure or lung problems occur, acute pancreatitis usually
improves on its own. Treatment is designed to support vital functions and
prevent complications. A hospital stay will be necessary so that fluids
can be replenished intravenously.
Acute pancreatitis can also cause breathing problems. Many people
develop hypoxia, which means that cells and tissues are not receiving
enough oxygen. Doctors treat hypoxia by giving oxygen through a face mask.
Despite treatment, some people still experience lung failure and require a
If pancreatic cysts occur and are considered large enough to interfere
with the pancreas's healing, your doctor may drain or surgically remove
Sometimes a person cannot stop vomiting and needs to have a tube placed
in the stomach to remove fluid and air. In mild cases, a person may not
eat for 3 or 4 days and instead may receive fluids and pain relievers
through an IV (intravenous) line.
Unless the pancreatic duct or bile duct is blocked by gallstones, an
acute attack usually lasts only a few days. In severe cases, a person may
be fed intravenously for 3 to 6 weeks while the pancreas slowly heals.
This process is called total parenteral nutrition. However, for mild cases
of the disease, total parenteral nutrition offers no benefit.
If an infection develops, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Surgery
may be needed for extensive infections. Surgery may also be necessary to
find the source of bleeding, to rule out problems that resemble
pancreatitis, or to remove severely damaged pancreatic tissue.
Before leaving the hospital, a person will be advised not to drink
alcohol and not to eat large meals. After all signs of acute pancreatitis
are gone, the doctor will try to decide what caused it in order to prevent
future attacks. In some people, the cause of the attack is clear, but in
others, more tests are needed.
(Source: excerpt from Pancreatitis: NIDDK)
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