Pancreatic Cysts - Treatment

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What kinds of treatment, surgery, or medication did you receive for your pancreatic cyst?

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What is the treatment for pancreatic cysts?

The most important aspect of management of pancreatic cysts is the determination of whether a cyst is benign (and usually needs no treatment) or if it is cancerous and must be removed.

The second most important aspect of management is to determine whether a patient with a precancerous or cancerous pancreatic cyst is a suitable surgical candidate. In medical centers experienced in performing pancreas surgery, surgical removal of precancerous or cancerous cysts has a high rate of cure.

There are not yet standard recommendations for managing pancreatic cysts. Different medical centers have adopted different approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Management decisions must be individualized for each patient after discussions with a doctor familiar with the patient's health status. The following is one example of how a doctor may manage pancreatic cysts.

  1. Pancreatic pseudocysts need treatment if they persist beyond six weeks after acute pancreatitis, especially if they reach a large enough size and cause symptoms such as obstruction of the stomach or common duct, abdominal pain, or become infected.

  2. Small pancreatic cysts (for example, cysts smaller than two cm) will have little chance (3.5%) of being cancerous and can be observed. Nevertheless, even these small cysts can grown in size and turn cancerous in the future. Thus, these patients are monitored with yearly scans (for example, yearly CT scans). These patients will be evaluated further using endoscopic ultrasound with possible fine needle aspiration if the cysts grow in size and/or cause symptoms.

  3. Pancreatic cysts larger than two cm in young, healthy individuals usually are treated with surgical removal, especially if the cysts produce symptoms.

  4. Pancreatic cysts larger than two cm in elderly patients can be studied with endoscopic ultrasound and fine needle aspiration. If fluid cytology and CEA measurements suggest cancerous or precancerous changes, the patients can be evaluated for pancreatic surgery.
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Comment from: dancer 34, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 28

My friend has a mass on the pancreas called columnar cell I can't find anything about it. First, they said it was atypical cells. He had a CT scan, ultrasound, and other tests. The mass is about 3 inches and doctors are recommending surgery.

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