Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease in which progressive and irreversible structural changes to the pancreas result in a permanent impairment of both the exocrine and endocrine functions.
As the pancreas become progressively more scarred, some persons develop diabetes and/or the inability to digest foods, especially fats. Because of the lack of normal pancreatic enzymes, digestion of food and the production of wastes are adversely affected. Abdominal pain is common, especially after eating. Stools become bulky, greasy, foul smelling and tend to float in the water because of their high fat content - a condition known as steatorrhea. The formation of stones in the pancreas is also common.
The treatment of chronic pancreatitis depends on 4 factors: the cause of the pancreatitis, the portion of the pancreas involved, the presence or absence os symptoms, and the size of the pancreatic duct.
When symptoms are mild or absent ("silent pancreatitis") no treatment is indicated. For persons with disabling symptoms, however, treatment is indicated. Treatment may consist of medications and possibly surgery.
The Medifocus Guide on Chronic Pancreatitis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of chronic pancreatitis?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing chronic pancreatitis?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis?
What treatment options are available for the management of chronic pancreatitis?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in chronic pancreatitis?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for chronic pancreatitis?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about chronic pancreatitis?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Screening for early pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in hereditary pancreatitis. Medical Clinics of North America. 2000
Cystic fibrosis mutations and genetic predisposition to idiopathic chronic pancreatitis. Medical Clinics of North America. 2000
Genetic predispositions to acute and chronic pancreatitis. Medical Clinics of North America. 2000
What should be the standard operation in chronic pancreatitis: Whipple or duodenum-preserving pancreatic head resection?. Annali Italiani di Chirurgia. 2000
Organ-preserving surgery in chronic pancreatitis: the duodenum-preserving pancreatic head resection. Annali Italiani di Chirurgia. 2000
Pylorus-preserving Kausch-Whipple resection: the successor of the classical Kausch-Whipple in chronic pancreatitis. Annali Italiani di Chirurgia. 2000
Resection in chronic pancreatitis: anastomosis with the jejunum or with the stomach?. Annali Italiani di Chirurgia. 2000
Pancreatic pseudocysts in chronic pancreatitis. Surgical or interventional drainage?. Annali Italiani di Chirurgia. 2000
Is there still an indication for pancreatic duct drainage in chronic pancreatitis?. Annali Italiani di Chirurgia. 2000
Medical treatment of chronic pancreatitis. Annali Italiani di Chirurgia. 2000
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