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Pancreatic Cysts

What Are Pancreatic Cysts?

If we were to ask most people they probably wouldn’t be able to tell us what the pancreas is or what it does. While it might not seem very important, it plays a crucial role within the digestive tract and when it comes to regulating blood sugar levels. The pancreas produces the enzymes that help your digestive tract break down food. Just as with any other organ within the body, the pancreas can also fall victim to problems, and when it does it’s important that you have a gastroenterologist like our very own Dr. Kamran Ayub who can provide you with answers and treatment options.

Sometimes cysts can form on the pancreas, and while most of these cysts are benign, there are some cysts that can turn cancerous. This is why it’s important to have a gastrointestinal specialist who can monitor your condition. Of course, most people don’t even realize they have cysts, as many don’t produce any symptoms.

However, there are some instances in which pancreatic cysts can cause some issues including abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. The pain may be constant and you may even feel it in your back, as well. Even though it isn’t clear what causes these cysts, it is believed that pancreatitis can increase your chances of cysts. Since heavy alcohol consumption is one of the most common reasons for pancreatitis, by reducing your alcohol consumption you may also be able to reduce both pancreatitis and cysts.

When it comes to evaluating your cysts, the most important thing is making sure that the cysts are not cancerous. In order to do this, Dr. Ayub may recommend imaging tests such as a CT scan, MRI or endoscopic ultrasound. Certain factors such as your age and the location of the cyst can shed some valuable insight into the kind of pancreatic cyst you have.

The treatment you receive for the cyst will again depend on the type of cyst. In most cases, we will just continue to watch and monitor it. As we mentioned before, most pancreatic cysts are benign and rarely turn cancerous. And if the cyst isn’t bothering you there is no reason to have it removed. We will determine whether surgery is required to remove a large or troublesome cyst.

If you are dealing with pancreatic cysts or are experiencing symptoms it’s time to turn to our gastroenterology team in Oak Lawn, or New Lenox, IL, as soon as possible. Call one of our offices today at (708) 475-5233. Also serving patients throughout Frankfort, Orland Park and Burr Ridge, IL.

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