What Causes Pancreatitis and How Treat It?

Learn what causes pancreatitis, how severe it can get and how to treat it, before things get complicated and difficult to treat.

Surgical treatment is reserved for the most severe cases of pancreatitis. Mild cases are treated with support measures.

What causes pancreatitis?

The inflammation of the pancreas can be acute or chronic evolution. This inflammation can be accompanied by the destruction of your cells. For all this, in this article we expand the information on the treatment of pancreatitis.

You should know that there is a high risk of multi-organ involvement. For this reason, the patient presenting this condition should undergo treatment immediately so that he or she can reduce the risk of other complications.

How is severity determined?

First of all, it is important to note that knowing the severity is essential to know the prognosis and treatment. Currently, C-reactive protein is the best biochemical marker. In addition to it, doctors use clinical assessment scales.

The scales of greatest importance are the Ranson and Glasgow criteria. Moreover, they are effective in approximately 70-80% of cases. On the other hand, there are other scales based on age or concomitant chronic diseases.

The APACHE II assessment scale allows predicting the severity of acute pancreatitis. It is based on the evaluation of physiological criteria. Finally, doctors can determine the degree of severity adding the score obtained.

Treatment of pancreatitis

Support measures

In the treatment of pancreatitis, you should use a series of supportive measures. Doctors prescribe these to all patients regardless of the severity of the condition. The most used are the following:

  • Hydration.
  • Oxygenation
  • Analgesia.

Hydration is based on saline or glycosylated solution. It must be intense during the first 48 hours, especially in acute cases. In addition, during this period the food intake must be suspended and replaced by a catheter.

Oxygenation, on the other hand, prevents pancreatic necrosis. Finally, doctors perform analgesia with meperidine. In addition, it is necessary to assess sedation if the pain is very intense. It is essential to keep an eye on the vital functions and the general condition of the patient during the application of these support measures.

Use of antibiotics

Antibiotic therapy is controversial if there is no absolute certainty of infection. However, when there is suspicion of infection of the necrotic areas, doctors recommend to install carbapenem or cephalosporin intravenously.

Surgical treatment

This type of pancreatitis treatment is reserved for severe cases. In fact, before performing surgery, it is necessary to perform a CT scan to determine the degree of extension of the necrosis. It also allows to look for possible complications such as:

  • The formation of abscesses.
  • Infection of the necrotic area.
  • The appearance of hemoperitoneum.

Doctors perform resection of the necrotic area only when infection occurs. Necrosis may occur early or a few days after the onset of the condition. Therefore, it is preferable to perform the technique late to avoid complications.


Surgical resection of the pancreas

In the treatment of pancreatitis, doctors use this measure only for the most severe cases, with 7 or more Ranson criteria. It consists of partial resection of the pancreas and the necrotic area. Note that doctors perform this type of surgery in specialized centers.

Treatment of pancreatitis: direct to the cause

In many cases, pancreatitis is a secondary picture of another pathology or condition. In these cases, the important thing is to influence the primary cause. Some of those causes are:

Gallstones: doctors recommend endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography with sphincterotomy to unclog the tract.

High cholesterol: the priority will be to establish treatment for cholesterol reduction.

Alcoholism: you must proceed to eliminate alcohol absolutely and definitely.

Now you know more about the treatment of pancreatitis. Remember that it is very important to go to the doctor at the slightest suspicion or discomfort. The pancreas is an organ of utmost importance and we must give it the attention it deserves.

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