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Pancreatitis Specialist

Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Peoria, AZ & Scottsdale, AZ

You can have a sudden, painful attack of acute pancreatitis or develop a chronic condition that slowly damages your pancreas. No matter what type of pancreatitis you develop, you will receive exceptional care from Teodor Pitea, MD, and Rawad Mounzer, MD, at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC. The team has extensive experience performing minimally invasive endoscopic procedures that diagnose and treat this condition. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Peoria, Scottsdale, or Phoenix, Arizona, or use the online booking feature today.

Pancreatitis Q&A

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis refers to an inflamed pancreas, a long gland located behind your stomach. You can develop two types of pancreatitis:

Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis appears suddenly and typically lasts several days. You can develop acute pancreatitis for many reasons, but the top causes include gallstones, alcohol abuse, and hypertriglyceridemia.

Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis, a progressive disease that develops over many years, causes ongoing inflammation that permanently damages your pancreas. The most common causes include alcohol abuse, smoking, genetic, hyperlipidemia, and autoimmune diseases.

What symptoms develop due to pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis causes sudden abdominal pain. The pain may feel severe and radiate toward your back, or you may have a dull, achy pain throughout your abdomen.

If you have chronic pancreatitis, you can go without symptoms for a long time, then have a sudden flare-up of upper abdominal pain. Chronic pancreatitis may also lead to weight loss and greasy, foul-smelling stools.

How do endoscopic specialists diagnose pancreatitis?

An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is one of the best techniques for producing exceptional images of the pancreas.

During an EUS, your provider at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC uses an endoscope (a long, thin tube) that includes lighting, a camera, and an ultrasound transducer.

After guiding the endoscope through your esophagus and stomach and into the small intestine, the transducer sends out sound waves that bounce off the pancreas and return to the transducer. The information goes to a computer that produces real-time images of your pancreas.

How do endoscopic specialists treat pancreatitis?

The initial treatment for a pancreatitis attack typically includes fasting, IV fluids, and pain medication. The team at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC may treat pancreatitis using EUS or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures.

During a regular ERCP, your provider guides an endoscope into your small intestine. Your provider inserts a catheter through the scope, injects dye into the ducts that drain bile and pancreatic enzymes, and then uses fluoroscopy to produce real-time X-ray images.

Your provider can also introduce tools through the endoscope to do specialized EUS and ERCP procedures that treat pancreatitis, such as:

  • EUS-guided pseudocyst drainage
  • Endoscopic pancreatic necrosectomy
  • ERCP for Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
  • ERCP with SpyGlass™ DS
  • ERCP with electrohydraulic lithotripsy

When gallstones or pancreatic stones block the ducts and cause pancreatitis, your provider at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC may also get rid of the stones with extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy.

If you develop sudden upper abdominal pain, especially if it occurs after eating a meal, call Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC or book an appointment online right away.