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Pancreatitis - Topic Overview

Most attacks of pancreatitis need treatment in the hospital. Your doctor will give you pain medicine and fluids through a vein (IV) until the pain and swelling go away.

Fluids and air can build up in your stomach when there are problems with your pancreas. This buildup can cause severe vomiting. If buildup occurs, your doctor may place a tube through your nose and into your stomach to remove the extra fluids and air. This will help make the pancreas less active and swollen.

Although most people get well after an attack of pancreatitis, problems can occur. Problems may include cysts, infection, or death of tissue in the pancreas.

You may need surgery to remove your gallbladder or a part of the pancreas that has been damaged.

If your pancreas has been severely damaged, you may need to take insulin to help your body control blood sugar. You also may need to take pancreatic enzyme pills to help your body digest fat and protein.

If you have chronic pancreatitis, you will need to follow a low-fat diet and stop drinking alcohol. You may also take medicine to manage your pain. Making changes like these may seem hard. But with planning, talking with your doctor, and getting support from family and friends, these changes are possible.

Learning about pancreatitis:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 31, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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