Pancreatitis begins with pain and, if left untreated, can lead to pseudocysts and even trouble breathing. Dr. Neeraj Kaushik of Long Island Gastroenterology Endoscopy PC is an expert in diagnosing pancreatitis and removing the pseudocysts that can prevent healing and disrupt normal pancreatic function. Proudly serving the Greenvale, New York area, Dr. Kaushik has dedicated himself to gastroenterology and GI health education. Call or book an appointment online today.

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What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is the inflammation caused by digestive enzymes trapped in the pancreas that can, in cases of chronic pancreatitis, cause irreversible damage to the pancreas. This causes the release of toxins in your blood, infection, and pseudocysts that accumulate fluid on the pancreas and prevent it from functioning correctly.

Gallstones escaping the gallbladder also cause pancreatitis by blocking the bile duct, causing digestive fluid to back up and deteriorate the pancreatic walls.

What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?

Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Trouble breathing

In severe cases, an inflamed pancreas, particularly one hampered by pseudocysts, can lead to hypoxia, which prevents oxygen from being absorbed into your cells, causing organ failure.

What are pseudocysts?

Pseudocysts can be a result of both acute and chronic pancreatitis. Not all pseudocysts require attention, as they can go away on their own; however, some grow very large with pancreatic fluid meant for digestion and can severely injure the pancreas if left unattended.

The causes of chronic pancreatitis include:

  • Gallstones
  • Pseudocysts
  • Blocked ducts

Inflamed tissue fills with fluid that must be drained to keep the pseudocysts from preventing your pancreas from healing. If left untreated, pseudocysts can cause severe damage to the pancreas, which can cause a chain reaction affecting your heart, lungs, and kidneys.

What are the treatment options for pancreatitis and pseudocysts?

First, Dr. Kaushik performs an upper endoscopy to identify the precise cause of your pancreatitis.

If Dr. Kaushik finds pseudocysts, he uses the endoscope’s long flexible needle to drain the damaging digestive fluid and alleviate the pressure on the pancreas. Once the pseudocysts are drained, the pancreas is free to heal itself.

Dr. Kaushik also uses the endoscope to remove gallstones, if they’re the cause of your pancreatitis. Extracting the stones stops the inflammation and prevents any further flare-ups.

If your pancreatitis is the result of a blocked duct, Dr. Kaushik will open or expand the duct by using an endoscope, allowing your natural enzymes to flow instead of building up into pseudocysts.

If you’ve been diagnosed with pancreatitis or you’re experiencing symptoms of the disease, call or book an appointment online today.