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Pancreatic Pseudocyst

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What is a pancreatic pseudocyst?

A pancreatic pseudocyst is a sac of fluid on or near your pancreas.

What increases my risk for a pancreatic pseudocyst?

  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Recent surgery or an injury to the abdomen
  • Disease of the gallbladder or bile ducts
  • High levels of triglycerides in your blood

What are the signs and symptoms of a pancreatic pseudocyst?

You may have no symptoms, or you may have any of the following:

  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Swelling or a lump in your abdomen
  • Shortness of breath

How is a pancreatic pseudocyst diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you, and ask about other medical conditions you may have. Your provider may ask if you have been injured or had surgery recently. You may need the following:

  • A CT, or CAT scan, is a type of x-ray that is taken of your abdomen. The pictures may show a pseudocyst. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

How is a pancreatic pseudocyst treated?

Pseudocysts may go away with no treatment. You may need surgery to remove the pseudocyst, or drain the fluid from it.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your heart is beating faster than normal, or you are breathing faster than normal.
  • Your pain worsens, or your abdomen feels hard.
  • You have chest pain or feel short of breath.
  • You feel dizzy or are sweating more than normal.
  • Your lips or nails turn blue.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.