Pancreas disease

Last updated date: 19-Oct-2022

Originally Written in English

Pancreas disease

Pancreaticobiliary Surgery: Conditions, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Risks

Pancreaticobiliary involves the pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Therefore, pancreaticobiliary surgery involves a surgical procedure performed on these parts. The purpose of the process is to rectify certain conditions that affect organs and alter the body's normal functions. 

Some pancreaticobiliary surgical procedures are minor and don’t pose any risks. However, others are major and come with certain risks and complications. Fortunately, the invention of modern techniques has helped prevent and avoid most of the surgical risks. They have also helped save lives and enhance patients’ overall health. 


Pancreaticobiliary Diseases 

The pancreas is an essential organ of the body that plays various vital roles and supports certain body functions. This, therefore, means that any disease that occurs in the pancreas can alter all the significant functions and roles. In the long run, this could result in severe complications that may lead to death. 

Some of the prevalent pancreaticobiliary conditions you need to be aware of include;  


Pancreatitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located next to the small intestines just behind the stomach. It yields enzymes that help with the digestion of food. It also releases hormones that control ways in which the body manufactures glucose. 

Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation that develops suddenly and only lasts for a short period. On the other hand, chronic pancreatitis often lasts for a more extended period.

Pancreatitis develops when the digestive enzymes are activated and start working while still in the pancreas. This irritates the pancreas cells and eventually causes inflammation. 

Symptoms of pancreatitis 

The symptoms of pancreatitis can vary from one person to another, depending on the type of condition. For acute pancreatitis, the common signs and symptoms include; 

  • Increased heart rate 
  • Fever 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Tender and swollen belly 
  • Pain that starts from the upper part of the abdomen and radiates to the back


Symptoms for chronic pancreatitis; 

Some symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may be the same as those of acute pancreatitis. However, you may also experience the following; 

  • Diarrhea and loss of weight; occurs because the pancreas is not generating sufficient enzymes for digestion purposes. 
  • Stomach upsets that could make you vomit 
  • Persistent pain in the upper belly 


Pancreatic Pseudocysts                

Pancreatic pseudocyst involves a pile of fluids and tissues that accumulate on the pancreas. The pseudocysts can sometimes form due to a hard blow on the belly. But mostly, it develops as a result of chronic pancreatitis when the pancreatic enzymes that aid fat and sugar digestion overreact and starts digesting the pancreas tissues. 

On the other hand, cysts develop when the ducts that transport the pancreatic juices to the intestine blocks. 

Overall, pancreatic pseudocyst is not severe or harmful unless it breaks open. When this happens, it causes other complications that can be life-threatening. 

Symptoms of pseudocyst 

In case you’ve had a blow on the belly or chronic pancreatitis, you might experience the following symptoms; 

  • Pain in the upper abdomen region that might sometimes radiate to the back 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Eating and food digestion difficulties 
  • A lump on the part of the upper abdomen 

For a ruptured or broken cyst, the symptoms include; 

  • Extreme and constant fever 
  • Unexplainable fainting 
  • Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back
  • Weak and fast pulses 
  • Vomiting blood 


Pancreatic Cysts 

Pancreatic cysts consist of fluids pockets that form in the pancreas. Most of the pancreatic cysts are benign, small, and doesn’t have symptoms. However, others are relatively large and come with certain symptoms. Some also develop and become cancerous. 

Symptoms of Cysts 

Although there are no specific symptoms for pancreatic cysts, these can also indicate the presence of the condition; 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constant abdominal pain 
  • Mass feeling, especially in the upper belly 


Pancreatic Tumors 

Pancreatic tumors develop within the pancreas tissues due to the growth of uncontrolled cells. This interferes with the overall functionality of the pancreas. 

During the early stage, pancreatic tumors do not show any signs or symptoms. But as it approaches the advanced stages, you will start to notice signs and symptoms such as; 

  • Weight loss 
  • Lower back or abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Jaundice 
  • Blood clots 
  • Depression 


Other pancreaticobiliary related disorders are; 

  • Gallstones or cholelithiasis
  • Strictures 
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis)
  • Infections 
  • Obstruction 
  • Cholangitis 



Types of Pancreaticobiliary Surgery

The type of surgery opted for often depends on the type, the location, and the extent of the pancreatic condition. But generally, these are some of the common surgeries; 

The Whipple Procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy)

Types of Pancreaticobiliary Surgery

This is a complex surgical procedure performed to get rid of the head of the pancreas. It includes the bile duct, the gallbladder, and the duodenum or small intestines. Sometimes, it can be the removal of a small section of the stomach. 

After removing a portion of the pancreas, the surgeon reconnects the pancreas, bile ducts, and the stomach to the bowel. This is to allow normal food digestion after the surgery. 

The Whipple procedure helps cure pancreatic tumors and other related disorders. Although it’s a complex and risky procedure, the Whipple surgery is a life-saving method, especially for people with pancreatic cancer. 


The Whipple procedure involves a complex open surgery that comes with various risks. These risks can occur during or after the surgical procedure. It includes; 

  • Infection inside the belly or on the incision part
  • Bleeding, especially on the surgical sections 
  • Leakage on the connected region of the bile duct or the pancreas 
  • Difficulties and delays in emptying the stomach, making it hard to eat 
  • Temporary or permanent diabetes 


Minimally Invasive Pancreatic Surgery 

In this procedure, the surgeon uses various techniques to operate surgically. This thus causes minimal damage or harm to the body. These techniques also make the entire process painless and cause few to no complications. 

Minimally invasive pancreatic surgical procedure is suitable for people with any pancreas disorder. Furthermore, it’s one of the safest methods of treating the conditions and the hospitalization period is shorter. 


Minimally invasive pancreatic surgery applies small surgical incisions. This makes the entire process less risky as compared to traditional methods. But sometimes, certain complications caused by anesthesia might occur. Also, bleeding and infection on the surgical part are bound to happen. 


Spleen Preserving Distal Pancreatectomy 

This is a surgical procedure that is done to cure pancreatic conditions of the body and tail surgically. It involves surgical resection of both the body and the tail of the pancreas to the left part of the superior mesenteric vein. This is either with splenectomy or without it. 

Spleen preservation distal pancreatectomy is suitable for patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis, tumor, and benign pancreatic cysts and lesions. 


  • Bleeding 
  • Infection in the surgical area 
  • The whole procedure takes a long period 


Enucleation of Pancreatic Tumors 

This procedure refers to careful removal or scooping out a section of the pancreas affected by the tumor using a razor. Although this method is technically demanding, it helps preserves the tissues and the standard functionality of the pancreas. 


There are no severe risks associated with the enucleation of pancreatic tumors. However, pancreatic duct leakage and resections issues might occur. 


Diagnosis of Pancreaticobiliary Diseases

Diagnosis of Pancreaticobiliary Diseases

Pancreaticobiliary conditions occur in different ways and affect some functions of the body. There are various methods used by surgeons to detect these conditions. It includes the following; 

  • Computerized tomography (CT): 

CT is a scan procedure that involves a combination of a series of x-ray images. These images are usually taken at different angles around the affected region. 

CT scan is thus the most reliable and effective method used by surgeons to view and acquire information on the tumor's location and size. It also helps them identify the effects cancer poses to other surrounding organs. 

  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): 

Endoscopic ultrasound involves the use of high-frequency waves to generate a detailed image of the pancreas. It also provides details on the lesions and other vascular structures. 

Once the doctors get clear information in the issues, he/she determines whether or not the patient should undergo the Whipple procedure. 

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): 

This is a medical imaging method that is used in radiology to portray images of certain body organs. To generate the picture, the MRI scanners use radio waves, strong magnetic fields, and gradients. 

Therefore, when diagnosing pancreatic diseases, the doctor uses an MRI scan to gather information and view the pancreatic duct and cystic lesions in the pancreas. Overall, MRI is vital and helpful in identifying the pancreaticobiliary pathology and anatomy. 



Pancreaticobiliary refers to the pancreas and the surrounding organs such as the bile ducts and the gallbladder. These organs are vital and sometimes prone to various diseases and infections. So to ensure that they function correctly, it’s essential to treat conditions affecting these sections. Whereas there are other forms of treatment, pancreaticobiliary surgery is more common and the most effective method. 

CloudHospital has a special department that offers pancreaticobiliary surgery abroad options. The renowned specialists and surgeons here apply the advanced technique to treat both minor and complex pancreatic conditions. Furthermore, they provide diagnosis services using special equipment.