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What are treatment options for pancreatic cysts?

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Quick Answer

The treatment for pancreatic cysts includes monitoring, drainage and surgery. The approach depends on the type of cyst and the symptoms that it causes, explains Mayo Clinic. Cysts that are smaller than 10 millimeters are monitored with a yearly CT scan, and larger cysts are monitored with an endoscopic ultrasound.

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Full Answer

Pancreatic cyst drainage is a procedure that is performed with an endoscope equipped with a needle, notes Mayo Clinic. The instrument is passed through the esophagus and the stomach and into the small intestine. Surgery is indicated for patients who have an enlarged pseudocyst or a serous cystadenoma.

Pancreatic cysts are small pockets of fluid that develop on or in the pancreas, according to Mayo Clinic. Most of them are not cancerous and do not cause symptoms. When symptoms occur, they include persistent abdominal pain that radiates to the back, the presence of a mass felt in the upper abdomen, nausea, and vomiting.

Complications of a pancreatic cyst are rare and include cyst infection or rupture, explains Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of an infected cyst include fever and abdominal pain. A ruptured pancreatic cyst can cause peritonitis and symptoms that include fainting, severe abdominal pain, a decreased level of consciousness, a weak and rapid heart rate and vomiting of blood.

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