Pancreatic Cysts: What Are They?
Pancreatic cysts are pockets of fluid (that look like sacs) on or in the pancreas, a large organ located behind the stomach that contains hormones and enzymes that aid in the digestion of food. Pancreatic cysts are now increasingly discovered as scans are used more often, says a stomach specialist in Nashik.
What are the Different Types of Pancreatic Cysts?
Neoplastic (cancerous or potentially cancerous) and non-neoplastic (not cancerous) are the two pancreatic cysts that exist. According to Dr. Sandeep Sabnis, who is considered to be the best gastroenterologist in Nashik, the majority of pancreatic cysts are benign. The most common form of pancreatic cyst (called a pseudocyst of the pancreas) is a pocket of fluid lined by inflammatory scar tissue that develops as a result of pancreatitis (pancreatic inflammation). It is non-neoplastic and is categorized into the following subtypes:
- MCNs or mucinous cystic neoplasms
- SPNs or solid pseudopapillary neoplasms
- IPMNs or Intraductal-papillary mucinous neoplasms
- Serous cystic tumours
How would you know if you have a Pancreatic Cyst?
The majority of people with pancreatic cysts have no symptoms. When signs or symptoms of pancreatic cysts appear, they usually include the following:
- Abdominal pain that persists and can radiate to your back
- A mass in the upper abdomen that you can feel
- Vomiting and nausea
When do Pancreatic Cysts become a Cause for Concern?
The majority of pancreatic cysts do not need treatment. A pseudocyst is the most common form of cyst, and it only requires treatment if it is causing symptoms such as discomfort, bleeding, or vomiting. As per the gastrointestinal specialist in Nashik, treatment for neoplastic cysts is determined by the form of cyst, its duration, and any other troubling features found during imaging studies. Neoplastic cysts have the following symptoms that usually give an indication of cancer:
- Cyst with a diameter of more than 3 cm
- The cyst contains a solid component
- Cysts with thick walls
- Dilated pancreatic duct
- Cyst with symptoms
- Distended lymph nodes surrounding the cyst
Active treatment is recommended if one or more of the above symptoms are present.
What are the choices for treating Pancreatic Cysts?
The type of cyst, its size, features, and whether it’s causing symptoms – all play a role in determining the proper treatment approach.
- Wait and Watch Approach: A benign pseudocyst, no matter how massive, can be left alone as long as it isn’t bothering you. Since serous cystadenoma rarely progresses to cancer, it can be ignored until it causes symptoms or develops.
- Drainage: A pseudocyst may be drained if it is causing discomfort or is becoming larger. The stomach and small intestine are examined using an endoscope, a small flexible tube that is passed through your mouth.
Surgery: An enlarged pseudocyst or a serous cystadenoma causing pain or other symptoms may require surgery by the best gastrointestinal surgeon in Nashik.