Pancreatic stones are caused by calcium deposits in the pancreas and can impede digestive enzymes from flowing to the small intestine from the pancreas, as stated by the Midwest Stone Institute. Pancreatic stones occur most often in individuals who have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis.
Gallstones formed in the gallbladder can also become stuck in the common bile duct, which is considered to be part of the pancreatic duct, as noted by the Midwest Stone Institute. Both gallstones and pancreatic stones have the potential to harm the tissue of the pancreas. The overall size of a pancreatic stone can vary as can the number of stones found in the pancreas at one time.
Factors that contribute to the likelihood that a person develops pancreatic stones include family medical history, age, gender, weight and lifestyle, states the Midwest Stone Institute. The presence of liver disease, diabetes, leukemia, sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders can also increase the chances of an individual forming pancreatic stones.
Symptoms associated with pancreatic stones include upper abdomen pain that lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, according to the Midwestern Stone Institute. Chemical-releasing pills and invasive surgery are two options for treating pancreatic stones.