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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is pancreatitis? Is it a severe condition?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dr Sameer Mihrshahi

    General Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Upper GI Surgeon (Abdominal)

    I completed my undergraduate medical degree with Honours at the University of Sydney in 1997, and trained in General Surgery in Newcastle and Sydney obtaining … View Profile

    Acute pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, and the two main reasons for this in our population are gallstones and excessive consumption of alcohol. It usually causes severe pain in the upper middle aspect of the abdomen and going through to the back, with nausea and/or vomiting. As the pancreas produces digestive enzymes in addition to hormones (such as insulin) that are involved in regulating blood sugar, inflammation of this organ can have significant consequences. Estimating the severity of an episode of pancreatitis is important as it is a guide for whether or not certain types of complications may occur (fluid collections around/within the pancreas called pseudocysts, death of areas of the pancreas which is called pancreatic necrosis). The treatment of pancreatitis involves adequate pain relief and support for other organs (heart, lung, kidneys) that can be affected by the inflammation of the pancreas.

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