Chronic pancreatitis is a long-standing inflammation of the pancreas that alters its normal structure and functions. It can appear as episodes of acute inflammation in a previously injured pancreas, or as chronic damage with persistent pain or malabsorption.
The most common cause in the Western world of chronic pancreatitis is an excess alcohol ingestion.
Gallstone-associated pancreatitis is predominantly acute or relapsing-acute in nature, and some cases of chronic pancreatitis are of undetermined or idiopathic origin.
A few are inherited or autoimmune in nature. In up to one quarter of cases, no cause can be found.
Most people with chronic pancreatitis have abdominal pain, although some people have no pain at all. The pain may get worse when eating or drinking, spread to the back, or become constant and disabling.
Chronic Pancreatitis Treatment
The different treatment modalities for management of chronic pancreatitis are medical measures, therapeutic endoscopy and surgery. Treatment is directed, when possible, to the underlying cause, and to relief of the pain and malabsorption.
The abdominal pain can be very severe and require high doses of analgesics.
At our centre we have successfully treated chronic pancreatitis with SCS and with Intrathecal Drug Delivery with patient controlled devices.