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Pancreatic Necrosis

Pancreatic Necrosis

USC Surgery / Conditions / Pancreatic Necrosis

Severe pancreatitis causes death of parts of the pancreas. The injured and dying pancreas releases digestive enzymes in the pancreas, which causes extensive death of fatty tissue in the abdomen. As a consequence, patients with severe pancreatitis have dead pancreatic tissue and also widespread death of fatty tissue around the pancreas. This dead pancreas tissue is called pancreatic necrosis and the dead fatty tissue around the pancreas is called peripancreatic necrosis. The complications that develop from the presence of necrotic (dead) pancreas in the abdomen include:

  • Continuous fever, abdominal pain and inability to tolerate a diet
  • Development of infection in the dead pancreatic tissue that can give rise to life-threatening infection in the blood
  • Separation of the dead pancreas from the remaining living pancreas, often leading to leakage of pancreatic juice into the abdomen (this is often associated with development of a condition called a pancreatic psuedocyst and
    damage to surrounding structures in the abdomen from the inflammation and leakage of pancreatic juice such as the colon, blood vessels, splenic vein and the duodenum)

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