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pancreatitis caused by gallstones????

(14 Posts)
GreatHauntieWurly Thu 04-Oct-07 18:30:00

Just had a text from my friend who is currently in hospital with pancreatitis which has been brought on by gallstones.

Can anyone explain in very simple terms, what pancreatitis is, how its treated, will she need an operation?


Blandmum Thu 04-Oct-07 18:32:13

Inflamation of the pancreas, an organ that sits under the stomach. There is no treatment for the pancreatitis per se, they will keep her on a drip and nil by mouth.

They will have to clear up the gall stones, and that can be done via surgery, or keyhole surgery

Blandmum Thu 04-Oct-07 18:32:48

BTW pancreatitis is exceptionally painful and canbe quite serious

DANCESwithHughJackman Thu 04-Oct-07 18:46:57

The pancreas secretes a sort of digestive enzyme, when it is blocked (by a gall stone which has escaped from the gall bladder) it effectively starts digesting itself. Also a blockage in the tubes which connect the pancreas, liver and gall bladder can then sort of back up and you can end up becoming jaundiced (I speak from experience)It was very painful until you are admitted into hospital but after that your pain in controlled by lots of lovely drugs. I'm pretty sure they were pumping me with some strong antibiotics too (mb?) When your friend comes out of hospital she'll be very weak and tired and it will take a couple of weeks before she starts to feel back to normal - she'll need some help. I didn't realise that, I thought when I came out I'd be better in a day or too <dim>
I had my gall bladder out about a month later and a couple of weeks after that was fit as a fiddle and totally back to my usual self.

GreatHauntieWurly Thu 04-Oct-07 18:50:57

so its likely they will operate?? She had been having so many problems with the gallstones recently, hopefully it will get sorted now. Will try and get to the hospital to see her tomorrow.

BabiesEverywhere Thu 04-Oct-07 18:51:58

Keyhole Gall Bladder surgery can be fairly straight forward, however if things goes wrong and the op is converted to an open surgery and then your wound gets infected. Recover time is closer to a month with a lot of pain and no lifting.

DANCESwithHughJackman Thu 04-Oct-07 18:54:12

They will operate but not for a while. Your body has to recover from the pancreatitus first. Will probably be about 6 weeks before she will have the op, she should be home for a while before she goes back in for it.

DANCESwithHughJackman Thu 04-Oct-07 18:55:29

Babieseverywhere...that is worst case scenario - very high percentage is done by keyhole and if you do have open there is no certainty of getting an infection shock!

BabiesEverywhere Thu 04-Oct-07 23:07:50

Yes, that's what happened to me...still in occasional pain months later

suenorth Thu 04-Oct-07 23:14:23

Have no info about gallstones but just wanted to say that pancreatitis is excrutiatingly painful. Definitely top of the pops on my pain chart (with childbirth coming in at number 3). Hope she's getting the good drugs Dances mentions.

DANCESwithHughJackman Fri 05-Oct-07 08:02:45

OH I have to ask, what was number two on the chart Suenorth?! <nosey>

Littlefish Fri 05-Oct-07 08:18:39

My mum had recurrent bouts of pancreatitis over a 4 year period. I've never seen anyone look so ill. She was in hospital on morphine for several days. She then had to follow a completely fat free diet for years. It turned out that hers was caused by a misshapen pancreatic duct. Once she'd had the surgery for it she recovered really quickly.

Would echo the other comments about needing to recuperate slowly.

Just don't give your friend chocolates!

suenorth Fri 05-Oct-07 10:04:17

Pleurisy <shiver>

I had the fat free diet too - lost loads of weight. Yes the Pancreatitis Diet is the next big thing grin

DANCESwithHughJackman Fri 05-Oct-07 10:58:04

Pleurisy shock poor you!

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