Pancreatitis Treatment Options
Pancreatitis is a descriptive term that applies to any inflammation of the pancreas. This causes the pancreas and its surrounding blood vessels to swell and trap the pancreatic fluid, which can then begin “digesting” the pancreas itself.
Provide conservative treatment for pancreatitis in the emergency room. This usually consists of fluid resuscitation and close monitoring of the patient’s electrolytic balance. The stomach may need to be kept empty to allow the gastrointestinal system to rest, requiring the insertion of a nasogastric tube.
Perform surgery. Necrotic pancreatic tissue is drained or scooped out followed by gastric lavage. Major blood vessels that have been eroded by pancreatitis may need to be rerouted or repaired. The common bile duct may need to be emptied surgically and biliary stones may need to be removed from the bile ducts.
Prescribe medication for pancreatitis. Give antibiotics for infections resulting from biliary and necrotizing pancreatitis. Give general antibiotics for gram-bacilli initially until culture studies allow for a more specific antibiotic regimen. Pain control is also essential in patients with severe pancreatitis. Prescribe Demerol or other analgesics similar to morphine to provide relief in cases of lasting trauma or lesions.
Administer follow-up treatment for acute pancreatitis. Replace fluid loss within the first day with both colloid and crystalline solutions. Determine adequate hydration by using blood pressure and urine output.
Monitor outpatients with amylase and lipase assays in addition to routine physical examinations.