Pancreatic Cysts (cont.)

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What are the symptoms of pancreatic cysts?

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  • The symptoms of pancreatic cysts depend on their size and location. Small (less than two cm) cysts usually cause no symptoms. Large pancreatic cysts can cause abdominal pain and back pain presumably by exerting pressure on the surrounding tissues and nerves.
  • Small or large cysts in the head of the pancreas also may cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes with darkening of the urine) due to obstruction of the common bile duct. (Obstruction causes bile to back up and forces bilirubin--the chemical that produces jaundice--back into the bloodstream and forces it to be excreted in the urine.)
  • If the cysts become infected, it may result in fever, chills, and sepsis.
  • On rare occasions, large pseudocysts can compress the stomach or the duodenum leading to obstruction to the movement of food in the intestines, resulting in abdominal pain and vomiting.
  • If a cyst becomes malignant and begins to invade the surrounding tissues, it may lead to the same type of pain as pancreatic cancer, pain that usually is constant and felt in the back and upper abdomen.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2014

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