What Are The First Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cysts & How Do You Test For It?

Pancreatic cysts are generally asymptomatic however when symptoms do occur, it includes persistent abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, weight loss and diarrhea.1

Symptoms vary depending on the size and location of the cyst. When the cyst develops in the head of the pancreas, it may cause jaundice and can be life-threatening.2

Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography monitors the pancreatic cyst and helpful in evaluating the cyst in the pancreatic duct.3,4

What Are The First Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cysts?

Pancreatic pseudocyst is often formed as a result of pancreatitis or abdominal injury. They are generally asymptomatic and do not show any symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, it includes persistent abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea.

In rare cases, they exhibit symptoms depending on the size and location of the cyst. When the cyst develops in the head of the pancreas, it may cause jaundice and can be life-threatening

Small cysts demonstrate no symptoms. Large cysts may block ducts in the pancreas and cause abdominal pain. They mostly begin from the back. Pancreatic cysts are of several types and true cysts are caused by inflammation. They are usually not much to worry because they are non-cancerous however when enlarged produces severe pain in the abdomen

Some pseudocysts are chronic and produce serious complications. When they are infected, can cause fever and stomach pain. Seek immediate medical attention when you are experiencing dramatic changes in your symptoms.1

VHL cysts can cause structural and functional problems. Pancreatic cysts cause blockage of ducts thus affecting the delivery of urine. This eventually leads to diabetes and digestive complications.

Common symptoms of pancreatic cyst include nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Weight loss is the most severe complication of this disease because the system does not produce the required pancreatic juices to break down food and therefore the vitamins and minerally are not absorbed naturally.2

How Do You Test For Pancreatic Cysts?

Cysts rarely become inflamed however when you are experiencing persistent complications, see a doctor immediately. When the cyst ruptures releasing the pancreatic juices, it can be life-threatening and cause infection on the abdominal cavity.

Similarly, when the infected cyst is not treated immediately, it begins invading the surrounding tissue resulting in pancreatic cancer. If an individual has signs and symptoms that can be a possible factor for pancreatic cancer, specific examinations and tests are often helpful to identify the right cause.

Medical History And Physical Exam – Your healthcare provider will check on your clinical history to understand more about your symptoms.

Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography – Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography monitors the pancreatic cyst and helpful in evaluating the cyst in the pancreatic duct.

  • MRI Scan for evaluating the leakage of malignant fluids
  • Imaging Tests such as x-rays, magnetic fields, sound waves, or radioactive substances to assess your inner body parts
  • Ultrasound to create images of the pancreas.3,4

Pancreatic cysts are the accumulation of pancreatic digestive juices that constitute the head, body, and tail of the pancreas. Some cysts are cancerous and are inflammatory, they don’t contain special lining cells, while most cysts are non-inflammatory cysts that are lined by a special layer of fluids.

Pancreatic cysts are water or fluid-filled growth in the pancreas. Treatment of pancreatic cysts often requires follow-up imaging studies and clinical resection of the fluid sockets. The true incidence of pancreatic cysts remains unknown but the majority of them are readily identified.

References:

  1. “Pancreatic Cysts.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 28 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatic-cysts/symptoms-causes/syc-20375993.
  2. Frothingham, Scott. “Pancreatic Cysts: Symptoms, Types, Treatment, and Risk Factors.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 16 Jan. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/cyst-on-pancreas.
  3. “Pancreatic Cysts and Pseudocysts Diagnosis and Tests.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14627-pancreatic-cysts-and-pseudocysts/diagnosis-and-tests.
  4. Brugge, William R. “Diagnosis and Management of Cystic Lesions of the Pancreas.” Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology, AME Publishing Company, Aug. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4502158/.

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