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A pancreatic pseudocyst (pronounced PAN-kree-AT-ik SOOD-oh-sist) is a fluid-filled sac that forms in your belly. It may also contain pancreatic tissue, digestive juices (enzymes), and blood.
This can create a painful mass in your pancreas.
The pancreas is located behind your stomach on the left side of your belly. It is close to the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum).
The pancreas is a gland with 2 main jobs:
When the pancreas is hurt, the tubes or ducts that send out digestive juices can get blocked. This causes a pancreatic pseudocyst.
Pancreatic pseudocysts most often happen in people with pancreatitis. This is a painful redness and swelling (inflammation) of the pancreas.
People with long-term (chronic) pancreatitis due to alcoholism are at greatest risk for pancreatic pseudocysts.
Other less common causes include pancreatitis due to:
Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:
In some cases, pseudocysts have no symptoms.Symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
Your healthcare provider will look at your past health. He or she will give you a physical exam.
You may also have tests including:
Your pseudocyst will be checked to see if it is growing. Pseudocysts that don’t get bigger and don’t cause symptoms often go away.
Your pseudocyst will be treated if it gets bigger or if there is a risk of other health problems.
If you have acute pancreatitis, you will likely be in the hospital for a few days. You will be given IV (intravenous) fluids and pain medicine, and watched closely. You won’t be allowed to eat or drink for a few days. This is so your pancreas can rest.
Treatment may include:
If a pseudocyst is not watched or treated, it can cause problems including:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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