PANCREATITIS SOLICITORS - MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE COMPENSATION
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There are four types of pancreatitis and related diseases. These include acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic pseudocysts and a pancreatic abscess. Let's take a look at each of these.
In acute pancreatitis, there is the sudden onset of inflammation in the pancreas. The enzymes that the pancreas makes become activated and begin to digest the pancreas itself. This causes damage to the pancreas, bleeding and swelling of the pancreas. Men are more affected than women. It is a common disease in alcoholism and about 70 percent of cases are related to alcohol abuse. In other cases, the cause is not known.
Other conditions in which pancreatitis are allowed to occur include certain autoimmune diseases, when the pancreatic duct is blocked, when the ducts inside the pancreas are damaged, when you have high triglycerides and when the pancreas is injured in an accident. Cystic fibrosis makes one more likely to have acute pancreatitis as is hyperparathyroidism. Certain medications can inflame the pancreas and viral infection such as Coxsackie virus type B and mumps can trigger pancreatitis.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis include abdominal pain in the left upper or middle portion of the abdomen. The pain is worse when lying down, after a fatty meal and can spread to the back or the left shoulder blade. Other symptoms include clay-colored stools, hiccups, nausea, excess gas, jaundice of the skin and eyes, and a swollen abdomen.
Doctors can do a physical examination, which can help diagnose the disease. It can show a mass in the abdomen, fever, low blood pressure and a rapid pulse and respiratory rate. Blood tests will show an elevated amylase level and an elevated lipase level in the blood. The urine can show a higher level of serum amylase. A WBC count will be high in many cases. An abdominal CT scan, MRI scan or ultrasound of the abdomen can show the picture of the inflamed and enlarged pancreas.
The treatment of pancreatitis is a bowel rest with IV fluids, pain medications and hospitalization to control the symptoms. An NG tube is needed in some cases to draw fluid out of the stomach. Surgery might need to be done to remove necrotic and infected tissue within the pancreas.
In chronic pancreatitis, there is long term damage to the pancreas over time. This chronic damage can lead to diabetes and it is often related to alcohol abuse. If you have several episodes of acute pancreatitis, it can become chronic pancreatitis. Causes of chronic pancreatitis are the same as with acute pancreatitis.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are basically the same as with acute pancreatitis but the duration of symptoms is longer than with acute pancreatitis. The condition usually happens in those between 30 and 40 years of age.
Doctors test for chronic pancreatitis by doing a CT scan, MRI scan or an ultrasound of the abdomen. A fecal fat test can show excess fat in the stool. Serum amylase and lipase are elevated as is a serum trypsinogen level.
The treatment of chronic pancreatitis is basically the same as with acute pancreatitis. You need to drink a lot of fluids, eat a low fat diet with frequent small meals and make sure you get vitamins and calcium in your diet. You should not drink or eat caffeine. Insulin may be required in chronic pancreatitis because the pancreas can no longer produce enough in the body. Surgery may be performed if a blockage of the pancreatic duct or common bile duct occurs.
In a pancreatic pseudocyst, a fluid filled sac forms in the abdomen as a result of pancreatitis. It often occurs after an episode of severe pancreatitis. Trauma to the abdomen can cause a pancreatic pseudocyst. Symptoms include having abdominal bloating, pain that is constant in the abdomen and difficulty digesting your food. It can be detected by palpating the abdomen and by doing a CT scan, MRI scan or ultrasound of the abdomen.
Small pancreatic pseudocysts often go away spontaneously. If they last for longer that six weeks or are bigger than 5 centimeters, they often need to be removed surgically. They can be drained via a needle guided by a CT scan. An endoscope can be used to help drain the pseudocyst and an open procedure can be used, depending on location and size.
A pancreatic abscess is a collection of pus in the abdomen from bacteria that have invaded the pancreas or a pancreatic pseudocyst. The treatment is antibiotics and swift drainage of the abscess.
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