Treatment OptionsPatients with acute pancreatitis are usually admitted to hospital where they are kept without eating or drinking. They receive fluid through a vein (intravenous). This allows the pancreas to rest. A tube may be placed through the nose down into the stomach to remove fluids and help with the nausea and vomiting. Pain killers are given to relieve the pain.
When the pancreatitis is caused by a gallstone, it can be removed by an endoscopic procedure called ERCP. This technique involves passing a thin flexible tube called an endoscope through the mouth into the small intestine where the pancreas empties its digestive enzymes. Most people feel better within a few days, after which time liquid can be started and low-fat, solid food can be added.
Patients with chronic pancreatitis may need frequent pain medications, especially if alcohol intake is not stopped. Because the pancreas is permanently damaged, there may be a need for enzyme replacement to compensate for the lack of digestive enzymes. In severe cases there may be a need for insulin injections to control blood sugar. In very severe cases, surgery may be required.