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Is surgery necessary for cysts in pancreas?

Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Answered by: Dr. Suneet Sood
Consultant Surgeon,
Metro Multispecialty Hospital,
NOIDA, UP
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Q. What is the solution of having a cyst abcess in the pancreas? Can it be removed without an operation? How serious is the operation? How long will complete recovery take after an operation? If it is cancerous will they remove the whole pancreas? How long can one live after that?

A.  A cyst in the pancreas is clear, uninfected fluid. Your surgeon will usually wait for 5-6 weeks before advising you any intervention. At this time if the cyst is smaller than 6 cm in size, the doctor will usually not advise surgery: these cysts tend to recover without complications. If the cyst is larger than 6 cm on ultrasound or CT scan your doctor will usually advise surgery, since large cysts tend to get complicated if not operated. Operation is by open surgery, though some doctors favour laparoscopy. The patient can be sent home in 7-10 days, and may return to work in a month. The risk to life is 1%. Survivors should have a normal life span unless they have been chronic alcoholics. An abscess is the presence of pus in or around the pancreas. The pus may develop at the start, or a cyst may get infected to form pus. An abscess requires open surgery. An abscess is a dangerous condition. Recovery is unpredictable. The patient may be sent home in 10-30 days, and may return to work in 1-6 months. The risk to life is about 10%. Survivors should have a nearly normal life span, unless they have been chronic alcoholics. Cysts and abscesses are not cancerous. Only the cyst or pus is removed, along with dead pancreatic tissue. The entire pancreas is not removed.

A.  A cyst in the pancreas is clear, uninfected fluid. Your surgeon will usually wait for 5-6 weeks before advising you any intervention. At this time if the cyst is smaller than 6 cm in size, the doctor will usually not advise surgery: these cysts tend to recover without complications. If the cyst is larger than 6 cm on ultrasound or CT scan your doctor will usually advise surgery, since large cysts tend to get complicated if not operated. Operation is by open surgery, though some doctors favour laparoscopy. The patient can be sent home in 7-10 days, and may return to work in a month. The risk to life is 1%. Survivors should have a normal life span unless they have been chronic alcoholics. An abscess is the presence of pus in or around the pancreas. The pus may develop at the start, or a cyst may get infected to form pus. An abscess requires open surgery. An abscess is a dangerous condition. Recovery is unpredictable. The patient may be sent home in 10-30 days, and may return to work in 1-6 months. The risk to life is about 10%. Survivors should have a nearly normal life span, unless they have been chronic alcoholics. Cysts and abscesses are not cancerous. Only the cyst or pus is removed, along with dead pancreatic tissue. The entire pancreas is not removed.

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