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Options for treating pancreatitis include medications, surgery, and diet and lifestyle changes. The appropriate option will depend on factors such as the type of pancreatitis, symptoms, and complications. While pain medications are often used, insulin or other drugs may be needed to control blood glucose levels. If acute pancreatitis is caused by a gallstone, surgery may be necessary.

An Introduction to Pancreatitis Treatment

Treatment options for pancreatitis depend on a number of factors. These factors include:
  • The type of pancreatitis (acute versus chronic )
  • The symptoms a person is experiencing
  • Associated complications.
Depending on these factors, pancreatitis treatment may include:
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Diet and lifestyle changes.
As part of treating acute pancreatitis, a hospital stay will be necessary so that fluids can be replaced through an intravenous line (IV). People with chronic symptoms of pancreatitis may not need to stay in the hospital unless they have associated complications.

Using Medications to Treat Pancreatitis

Pain medicines may be given as pancreatitis treatment to control pain. Sometimes, insulin or other drugs are needed to control blood glucose.

Surgery as a Pancreatitis Treatment

If acute pancreatitis is caused by a gallstone, surgery may be necessary to remove the gallstone and gallbladder (cholecystectomy). A gallstone may also be removed through a procedure called an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
If pancreatic pseudocysts occur and are considered large enough to interfere with the healing of the pancreas, the doctor may drain or surgically remove them.
When treating chronic pancreatitis, in some cases, surgery is needed to relieve pain. The surgery may involve draining an enlarged pancreatic duct or removing part of the pancreas.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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