Treatments are tailored to the severity and the cause of the acute pancreatitis. Patients with moderate to severe pancreatitis typically spend a few days in the hospital. While you are at UChicago Medicine, our physicians and nurses will monitor your condition to ensure your pain is under control and will provide intravenous fluids to maintain blood volume.
When necessary, our pancreas team will start enteral nutrition (feeding via the small bowel) and avoid parenteral nutrition (feeding intravenously via central veins) to assure optimal nutrition.
When gallstones cause pancreatitis, our interventional gastroenterology specialists can use endoscopic techniques to remove the stones that have become trapped in the bile duct and pancreatic duct in the vicinity of the sphincter of Oddi — a small sphincter that is strategically placed at the junction of the bile duct and pancreatic duct with the duodenum. Endoscopes can also be used to insert stents (hollow tubes) into narrowed bile ducts to keep them propped open so bile and other fluid can drain properly. In most cases, the gallbladder is removed following recovery from mild pancreatitis and prior to discharge from the hospital to prevent future attacks.
Our pancreas team also offers endoscopic, percutaneous or minimally invasive surgical drainage of pancreatic and peripancreatic fluid collections. Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include small incisions, little to no scarring and faster recovery. Our endoscopists, interventional radiologists and surgeons have many years of experience performing a wide variety of pancreatic procedures and are experts at removing diseased tissue while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.