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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5122
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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after a coloctmy operation my husband has developed pancreatitis

Customer Question

after a coloctmy operation my husband has developed pancreatitis and the hospital are trying to treat it with antibiotics but the problem is not responding to them they have talked about draining the fluid but are sitting on the fence how difficult would this be or is there any other treatment that they may try
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 3 years ago.

Doctor-Bob :

Hello. Sorry to hear about your husband's condition. This can be very painful and difficult to treat. Did they do a CT scan? Did it show a cyst or pseudocyst in the pancreas?

Customer:

yes he has had scans they are showing fluid that is all i can tell you

Doctor-Bob :

Sometimes after surgery pancreatitis occurs in which the digestive enzymes of the gland are activated while still in the gland as opposed to being activated after excretion into the small bowel. The pancreas then begins to digest itself, essentially, and cystic structures called "pseudocysts" can form with pancreatic fluid inside. If such a cyst ruptures, it can cause serious complications such as infection and internal bleeding. Sometimes, putting a small catheter into a large pseudocyst allows it to drain safely, so the pancreas can continue to heal.

Customer:

how difficult is this procedure

Doctor-Bob :

It is usually done under CT guidance by a general surgeon or an interventional radiologist, both of whom may be specially trained in these procedures. In most cases, it is pretty routine and goes smoothly, but this is somewhat dependent upon the size and anatomy of the patient, how deep the pancreatic cyst is, and the overall health of the patient...so it can vary.

Customer:

i cant understand then why the surgeon is sitting on his hands and telling us that this procedure is very difficult and risky my husbandnd cant go on as he is with no improvement what would you advise me to ask the surgeon when i next meet him should i insist that he tries draining as they talked about 3weeks ago

Customer:

would his reluctance to do this procedure have anything to do with the fact that his wound from the operation is open and beign packed to heal from the inside out

Doctor-Bob :

yes, this is exactly the kind of thing that can complicate the picture tremendously...i would suggest you ask to speak with an interventional radiologist...in this country, at least, they often do these procedures under CT guidance, which takes some of the guesswork and risk out of it.

Doctor-Bob :

In the meantime, is he fasting? is he being given intravenous fluids and antibiotics?

Customer:

ok thanks for all the input at least i may be able to better understand what is going on

Doctor-Bob :

Yes, this can be very difficult, trying, and confusing. Feel free to follow up anytime with more information or questions. I hope all goes well for your husband...

Customer:

he is still trying to eat the and intravenous antibiotics some times they give him iv fluids

Doctor-Bob :

it is generally best not to eat with pancreatitis as it stimulates the gland to make more enzymes...bowel rest is typically advised, along with fluids to prevent dehydration.

Customer:

his temperature is slightly raised and at times very high

Customer:

the hospital are encouraging him to eat

Doctor-Bob :

that's probably OK if he is stable and is taking in only bland foods...sometimes a feeding tube is recommended to provide nutrition but rest the bowel...you could ask about this...if the temp is up that could be from the surgery, from medications, from the lungs not expanding fully, OR infection, of course.

Customer:

yea they have talked about feeding tube but as yet that is as far as it went

Doctor-Bob :

I see. Well, hang in there. Important decisons often have to be made as things are changing and this may be a little overwhelming, but it sounds like he is in good hands.

Customer:

from all you have said i guess they are making all the right noises but would prefer a little action as my husband cant go on like this

Doctor-Bob :

try to get a second opinion on the catheter...when it works, it tends to work quite well...but "the devil is in the details", and only your doctors know all the details at this point.

Customer:

ok thanks for all your help

Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5122
Experience: 20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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