Patient Comments: Pancreatic Cysts - Diagnosis

How were your pancreatic cysts diagnosed?

Comment from: Student01, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 12

My pancreatic cysts (total of 3, largest 18mm by 24mm) were first noticed when my doctor wanted to look at my liver via ultrasound. The test indicated I had "fatty liver" (no one seemed to care about this), but what was first called "a mass on my pancreas" was noticed. An EDU procedure identified them as cysts. I write to tell people about waking up during the EDU process, it is not pleasant, and I have been a chronic pain patient for 4 years. During this 4 years I have developed a tolerance for drugs that treat pain. The doctor said it was this tolerance that made me wake up. My doctor said I am no longer a candidate for this low level sedation. I guess I gave them a bit of trouble (I do not fully remember), and I am pretty big and strong, they do not want a wrestling match again. I think my cysts will be dealt with through surgery (mainly as I search for reasons I have so much back pain), and I have a feeling I will have my gallbladder taken out as I show moderate/severe chronic pancreatitis, but I do not drink at all and stopped drinking 9 years ago.

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Comment from: janelle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

I am now 40 years old. Four years ago I had my gallbladder removed due to gall stones and one stone lodged in a liver duct. I then had a separate surgery to remove the stone in 2009. I had pain in my right side and I went to the doctor who then did a scope to see what was going on. He said there was sludge in the liver duct and he removed it. During the surgery he cut my pancreas, which caused pancreatitis. I was in the hospital for two months then was sent home on a feeding tube for two months. After getting off the feeding tube I went back to the doctor to find out I have a cyst on the head and tail of my pancreas. They started out small. That was in 2009. Now in 2012, the one on the head of the pancreas is the size of a grapefruit. I am having it drained, and I am truly scared. I am also now a type 1 with diabetes taking six insulin shots a day. Only 20 percent of my pancreas works now. I am hoping after today the pain in my right side and back will go away. I have had pain block after pain block and they just don't seem to be working so all and all I hope all goes well.

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Comment from: Lauren19380, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: May 03

My 81-year-old mom had upper abdominal pain for a few months, then started having dizzy spells where she would nearly lose consciousness for a few weeks before she told anyone. We had noticed that she was getting thinner, but were shocked when she revealed a 25 pound weight loss over three months. At a doctor's office visit, her hemoglobin was 6 and she had pain and palpations in the upper left abdomen. She was immediately admitted to the hospital, given two units of blood, and a CT scan was performed. Several cysts were noted in the tail of the pancreas. After an MRI, the doctors assured her the cysts were not malignant. An endoscopy revealed a large bleeding ulcer and she was discharged with medication. I am concerned about the pancreatic cysts, but everyone else feels satisfied that her symptoms have been adequately explained by the ulcer. My mom has always been extraordinarily fit and healthy and now she just looks like a pale ghost of her former self.

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Comment from: Kasey, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I had an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in 2008 after having gallbladder surgery. The surgeon stated I had something going on with a bile duct that didn't look exactly right on X-ray. After the ERCP, I had acute pancreatitis. I stayed in the hospital a total of three weeks. During the next 8 to 12 months I started having right-side pain and it hurt to bend over. My doctor sent me for a CT scan thinking it might be a kidney stone and it was then that they found the cyst on my pancreas. I was sent to a surgical oncologist and I had repeated CT scans every three months to see if the cyst has grown. The cysts were not filled with fluid, but tissue. My options are limited. I have to go back in a week for another scan to see if the cyst has grown.

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Comment from: Paininside, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I found I had a pancreatic cyst after I ended up in the hospital for five days with pancreatitis. I had been having pain in the area for some time, but assumed it was due to the gastrostomy tube I had inserted in 2001 due to esophageal dysphasia from type 4 systemic scoliosis. After I left the hospital and saw my doctor, I was told the pancreatic cyst was 7 cm x 4 cm. It was larger than they wanted, but due to the other medical issues I have, we decided to wait and watch. Even though I continued to have pain it wasn't enough to put me in the hospital. We attempted to drain the cyst prior to going on a cruise, but found that the "liquid" was not drainable. It was more of a jelly consistency than liquid. We went on a cruise and took it easy and after we returned I had another CT scan. Then I received a surprise we had not anticipated and it was a second cyst. This cyst is considered medium size, and again, we are waiting and watching. I still have pain, not enough to go to the hospital though, and because of all the other issues, I am almost to the point of telling them to go and either do the test (scope) that typically causes pancreatitis, or to just do the surgery and take the cysts out. I expect there may be more on the pancreas than they can see through a CT Scan -- cannot have an MRI because of a neurostimulator implant in my back.

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Pancreatic Cysts - Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms associated with pancreatic cysts?
Pancreatic Cysts - Types Question: Were you diagnosed with an inflammatory or non-inflammatory pancreatic cyst? Please share your experience.
Pancreatic Cysts - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, surgery, or medication did you receive for your pancreatic cyst?

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