Tokushukai Medical Group

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Digestive System Surgery: Acute Pancreatitis

Own digestive enzyme is offending pancreas or other organs.

Pancreas is oozing out of needed enzyme to break down protein. Normally these digestive enzymes work safely not to digest by itself, but with some reason when it does not work properly, it starts to digest own pancreas by own digesting enzyme. When this symptom occurs, acute inflammation like, edema on pancreas, bleeding, and/or necrosis may appear.

Inflammation affect not only to pancreas but also to surrounding organs or to entire body by blood flow. With this reason, it’s affect may spread out to heart, lung, liver, kidney or digestive organs. Severe Acute Pancreatitis accompanies with entire body symptom.

Developing rate increase with much alcoholic drinking.

The primary cause of acute pancreatitis is alcohol. The second major cause is gallstone. These two causes take the majority proportion of acute pancreatitis. Male tends to alcohol and women tends to gallstone. Other than these, there are spontaneous, drug-induced, traumatic, iatrogenic, autoimmune, or symptom comes from dyslipidemia type causes.

The research says that regarding alcohol, the rate of predisposition for pancreatic may increase if drinking amount becomes greater. Gallstone is a stone which is developed in biliary tract where bile made at liver flows through it. In pancreas, there is a tract carrying pancreatic fluid, called as pancreatic duct, and biliary tract and pancreatic duct is finally joined as one then it is oozing digestive enzyme to intestine. When gallstone is stuck at exit of biliary tract and make pancreatic duct disrupt the flow, then acute pancreatitis is developed.

Symptoms are abdominal or back pain.

The primary symptom is upper abdominal pain. It begins with relatively rapid onset and most of the case it is accompanying with severe pain. The symptom can be likely seen after the meal. Pancreas are located relatively back side of the body, there is a patient who tells as back pain. Or there is a case where it comes with nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fevers

Diagnose by blood drawing and Echo test.

To diagnose, firstly pancreas enzyme is checked whether increased or not by blood draw test. (enzyme like amylase, lipase and elastase) Then check whether pancreas has enlarged, or inflammation has spread out, by Echo or CT test. With conducting these test, acute pancreatitis can be diagnosed for almost all cases.

Core treatment is abstinence from food (non-eating) and enough drip infusion.

The core treatment is to perform abstinence from food, or to apply enough drip infusion. If patient takes a meal, pancreas enzyme is getting more active, so that to make pancreas rest, non-eating should be done. Or, in acute pancreatitis infusion is kept inside of belly (like water is exuded from blood vessel). Then, blood vessel, which requires water as its nature, turns into water shortage. This is the reason of why enough drip infusion is requested. Other treatment, dosage of antibacterial agent, drug to weaken the effect of pancreas enzyme activity, treatment to remove gallstone, are conducted depend on the symptom.

May likely advance to severe pancreatitis.

Most of the case, symptom will be improved within few days to 2 weeks by these treatments. However, there may be the case where pancreatitis is getting worse despite of the treatment, or transitioned to severe pancreatitis. Or, there reported that the death rate of severe pancreatitis is 10%. This is a one of very dangerous diseases.

Do not take alcohol drink too much.

To prevent from pancreatitis, the limitation of alcoholic uptake is the best. Or, for the person who has diagnosed as gallstone at the medical check, it is better to consult whether gallstone needs to be removed for prevention purpose.  

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