Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach that helps with digestion and turning food into energy. Causes of pancreatitis include gallstones, heavy alcohol use, certain medicines, and genetic disorders of the pancreas. Symptoms include pain in the upper abdomen that may extend to the back, nausea and vomiting, fever, a rapid pulse, and weight loss. Acute pancreatitis lasts a short period of time and may go away in a few days with treatment. Chronic, or long-lasting, pancreatitis can get worse over time and cause permanent damage. Treatment may include a hospital stay to receive intravenous (IV) fluids, pain medicine, and other drugs. Surgery is sometimes needed to treat problems caused by pancreatitis.

Patients who choose UAB Medicine for their gastrointestinal (GI) care benefit from our experienced specialists, the most advanced technology, and – in some cases – medications and other treatments being evaluated in clinical research trials that are not available at other medical centers. These resources are combined through our Pancreatobiliary Disease Center, which provides cutting-edge care for pancreatitis and other conditions that affect the pancreas. UAB Medicine is well-equipped to diagnose and manage pancreatobiliary disorders or consult with the patient’s current providers as part of an ongoing care plan.

Care is provided by an outstanding team that includes surgeons, diagnostic and interventional radiologists, gastroenterologists, critical care intensivists, nurses, genetic counselors, and other specialists. Our standard of care begins with a timely and thorough initial assessment of each case, followed by same-day testing and/or intervention if necessary. Our collaborative team will then develop and implement a personalized care plan that best suits the needs and preferences of each individual patient.

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