Pancreas questions (long, sorry)

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I am looking for recommendation for sites on pancreatic disease. My mother just had an ultrasound preformed after an extremely painful bout of upper abdominal pain. Her Dr called her only hours after the procedure and had ordered a CT for the following morning. He only told her that there was a "prominence of the common duct" and a "fullness" to her pancreas. She now waits until Monday to meet wiht himto go over the CT results (which are sitting on her living room table ,yet she refuses to look).

I am trying to gather as much info as I can for her so she can go into the meeting informed. Unfortunately, I live in Alaska amd she is in Cali so I am oly getting bits of the info.

If anyone know of a good resourse for more information I would be very appreciative. I have done searches on the pancreas but I am eiher finding very simple explainations or extremely confusing medical jargon. I do have a basic meidcal background (EMT, MA) so I can try ot figure some of the less confusing information.

My sister (a bit of a drama queen) is sure it is pancreatic cancer and I am trying to gather information on that as well.

I would appreciate any help you may be able to offer.

Thank you!


career seeker

62 Posts

I should probably think about proof reading my posts as I am a terrible typist! Sorry for the typo's and misspellings!

maire, ASN, RN

1,173 Posts

Specializes in Adult Med-Surg, Rehab, and Ambulatory Care.

Didn't you ever hear the rule, speling dun't kount? :)

I just did a search and came up with a few, hope they help.

I hope she is seeing a gastroenterologist. I worked with one for some time.

Pancreatitis is a very painful condition. It is curable; sometimes it is chronic and sometimes it is acute. It can be caused by a gall stone, which makes me suspicious of the dilated duct. An ERCP could take care of stones there.

CA of pancreas usually is found after an acute attack of pain or jaundice. I suggest you take some family time and go see her with the doctor.

I strongly suspect a gall stone.

dosamigos76, RN

349 Posts

Specializes in Hospice.

Good luck and please keep us posted.



349 Posts

I hope it is not pancreatic cancer. Pancreatitis can be caused by a blocked bile duct and the backup can cause pseudocysts. WebMD I have found has very thorough and easy to understand descriptions of darn near eveything. Maybe less technical than you could handle but not simplistic. They have very nice section on pancreatitis. For cancer, I like the NCI website, and also any large well known cancer center like MD Anderson or MSKCC usually have good patient info on their websites.


gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Rule 1- Don't panic just yet and don't believe everything you read on the net. Pancreatitiis is one of those tricky diseases where it symptoms can range from a pain in the abdomen through to very sick indeed depending on the severity. Tell her to take it easy and if the symptoms get worse do not wait go back to the doctor or nearest ED with her results.

I agree with used and abused - the most common problem is stones in the bile duct. See the bile duct from the liver and gall bladder joins the duct from the pancreas just before it enters the intestine. Small gravel like stones can spill out from the gall bladder into this duct causing pain and they can also cause a bit of a blockage - hence dilation.

It's always a worry when it is a parent - nearly as bad as a child. As always it is right to expect the worst but hope for the best. Keep us posted.

PS. Don't worry about your typing in proofing my answer I realised I had typed dust form instead of duct from - glad I picked that one up!

career seeker

62 Posts

Thank you all for your information and your words of support. I am keeping my fingers crossed and my thoughts positive while I await her call after her apointment.

She did mention that the Dr said her gall bladder looked good on the initial ultrasound. I find that if I try ot diagnos her I tend to think about hte worse case scenario so I will just wait for her appointment and go for there.

I will keep you posted!

Thank you!


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