Treatment for pancreatitis is aimed at treating the underlying cause of the condition, relieving symptoms, and restoring pancreatic function. People with acute pancreatitis are usually admitted to the hospital for care. Depending on their condition, they may need oxygen, pain medication, antibiotics, IV medication, fluids, and nutrition. In some cases, a nasogastric (NG) tube is used to remove stomach fluids to promote healing. A NG tube is made of thin flexible plastic. It is inserted through the nose to the stomach. People in critical condition may need a ventilator to help them breathe. A ventilator is a machine that mechanically breathes for a person until they are able to do so independently.
Chronic pancreatitis can usually be treated without a hospital stay. Treatment goals for chronic pancreatitis include pain relief, reducing pancreatic irritation, and improving the ability to eat and digest food. Prescription medication is used to treat pain or aid in digestion. Lifestyle and dietary changes can help with food digestion. You should not drink alcohol. It can help to eat several small meals per day. Meals should be high in carbohydrates and low in fat. People that develop diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar levels and use insulin if their pancreas does not produce it anymore.
Surgery may be necessary to remove or repair pancreatic tissues that are bleeding or infected. Surgery may also be used to remove gallstones and sometimes the gallbladder if it is the cause of pancreatitis. The most common surgery is laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy uses a small lighted camera, a laparoscope, to guide the surgery. A Laparoscopic cholecystectomy uses small incisions, which shortens the recovery time.
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