Can Pancreatic Cysts Cause Weight Loss & Can They Be Drained?

People with pancreatic cyst experience loss of appetite and nausea that leads to frequent weight loss because their body does not secrete enough pancreatic enzymes to digest food. 1. 2.

Pancreatic cysts can be drained endoscopically by inserting into the pockets of the pancreas via your stomach. 3.

Other modes of treating pancreatic cysts involve draining the secreted fluid via the stomach with the help of stents. 4.

Can Pancreatic Cysts Cause Weight Loss?

Most pancreatic cysts show no symptoms at all and in cases that exhibit symptoms, often dependent on the extent of the disease and location of the cyst developed in the pancreas. Nausea and vomiting are some of the typical symptoms of pancreatic cysts.

Most cysts are noticed while patients are undertaking imaging techniques for a different symptom. The rest are identified when people experience abdominal pain, nausea, sudden weight loss, or other gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.

During vomiting and nausea, stomach emptying is delayed when the duodenum is compressed thus producing a feeling of fullness. These patients have often loss of appetite and nausea eventually leading to weight loss.

People with acute pancreatitis normally lose weight, even when their appetite and eating habits are normal. The loss in weight happens since the human system lacks enough pancreatic enzymes that severely impact digestion and nutrients will not absorb naturally, resulting in malnourishment. These individuals lead a poor quality of life and may require admission to emergencies for their weaknesses. 1. 2.

Can Pancreatic Cysts Be Drained?

A pancreatic pseudocyst isn’t generally unsafe unless it ruptures, however, the ruptured condition can be life-threatening. Hence, it has to be drained before it breaks. Pancreatic cysts can be drained endoscopically by inserting into the pockets of the pancreas via your stomach. The draining is often done when you have pain or infection.

Pancreatic pseudocysts though showing similar characteristics as pancreatic abscesses are not the same thing because it contains only fluid.

When your pseudocyst is large or not resolved over time, your doctor may suggest treatment. Treatment depends on the size and location of the cyst. Draining on the cyst is usually done through endoscopy.

During this process, your healthcare provider may insert a thin tube also called Catheter through the abdomen to remove the excess fluid and to drain the cyst. This is often done through medical imaging or drained endoscopically.

This is a process wherein the catheter enters the duct of the pancreas through your stomach. In some cases, this technique may not produce effective results so surgery may be required. Other modes of treating pancreatic cysts involve draining the secreted fluid via the stomach with the help of stents. 3. 4.

The pancreas is a long-flattened gland located in the abdomen with two key functions: digestion and blood sugar regulation. Cysts are of different types and can affect the pancreas. A cyst is generally a duct packed with fluid. A pancreatic cyst is a fluid-filled cavity that grows in the pancreas that may be either inflammatory caused by pancreatitis, or neoplastic (a tumor).

Most pancreatic cysts are not cancerous and generally do not generate warning signs. Some, though, maybe forerunners to the pancreatic tumor. Many cases of pancreatic cancer go undetected, hence when you have a pancreatic cyst (which is typically visible through imaging scans such as CT scan or MRI scan), your healthcare provider may suggest for a sample to be checked for the pre-cancerous or cancerous feature.

References:

  1. Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer. “What You Should Know About Pancreatic Cysts – Managing Pancreatic Cancer – Let’s Win.” Let’s Win! Pancreatic Cancer, 6 June 2018, letswinpc.org/managing-pancreatic-cancer/2018/06/08/what-you-should-know-pancreatic-cysts/.
  2. “Symptoms.” Stanford Health Care (SHC) – Stanford Medical Center, 12 Sept. 2017, stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/digestion-and-metabolic-health/pancreatic-cysts/symptoms.html.
  3. N, Pitchumoni CS; Agarwal. “Pancreatic Pseudocysts. When and How Should Drainage Be Performed?” Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10503140/.
  4. “Pancreatic Cysts.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 28 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatic-cysts/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20375997.

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