Because pancreatic atrophy is often associated with chronic pancreatitis, it can be treated by managing the complications and pain and improving the body's ability to digest food, explains the Cleveland Clinic. For instance, pseudocysts can develop in response to atrophy and pancreatitis, requiring drainage.
Doctors also need to treat pancreatic atrophy and pancreatitis by dealing with the underlying cause, states Mayo Clinic. If gallstones cause pancreatitis, then the gallbladder might need to be removed. The doctor needs to remove obstructions in the bile duct that keep bile from aiding in digestion or surgically repair damaged bile ducts that also interfere with normal digestion. If the pancreas has diseased tissue causing the atrophy and inflammation, it most likely needs to be removed and the pancreas drained of excess fluid. Management also involves improving digestion by taking pancreatic enzymes and eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients.
Pancreatic atrophy, the wasting away of the pancreas, occurs largely in those who are elderly, obese or have chronic pancreatitis, explains Radiopaedia.org. Sometimes fatty tissue replaces healthy tissue, a condition called pancreatic lipomatosis. Although fat doesn't usually replace the entire pancreas, resulting in complete atrophy, fat deposits dot the pancreas and cause degeneration, adds PubMed Central.