Cleveland Clinic’s Pancreas Clinic is one of the few centers in the nation that specializes in patient-centered treatments and frontline research for every type of pancreatic disorder.
The Pancreas Clinic treats disorders such as complicated acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer. Each year, more than 1,500 patients trust the Pancreas Clinic with their healthcare needs. In 2010, the Cleveland Clinic treated more than 350 patients chronic pancreatitis and nearly 500 patients with pancreatic cancer. The Digestive Disease Institute has been ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report’s since 2003 by its “America’s Best Hospitals” survey.
The Pancreas Clinic offers a single location for patients to receive the best therapies and treatment options for pancreatic disorders. Patients travel from around the country to receive our innovative treatments and services, including:
- Endoscopic, minimally invasive and radiographic diagnostic imaging
- Islet auto transplantation
- Robotic surgery for pancreatic cancer
- Robotic pancreaticoduodenectomy
- Chronic pain management using pancreatic enzymes, subcutaneous injections of octreotide, and other alternative treatments.
Current Pancreas Clinic research may lead to the development of a new test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatic damage occurs
when digestive enzymes attack the pancreas. In severe cases, pancreatitis can
cause loss of blood flow to the gland, leading to serious tissue damage, infection
and cyst formation.
Severe pancreatitis can cause damage if enzymes and toxins are released into
the bloodstream and harm other vital organs, such as the heart, lungs and
kidneys. Typically, pancreatitis develops gradually and becomes progressively
worse. There two forms of pancreatitis: acute and chronic.
Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that occurs over a
short period of time. More than 80 percent of acute pancreatitis cases are caused
by heavy alcohol use or gallstones. In the latter case, gallstones passing from the
gallbladder can become lodged at the ampulla (opening to the ducts that drain
the gallbladder and pancreas). This blockage causes an obstruction of the pancreatic
duct. Pancreatic juices can then back up into the pancreas and lead to
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis range from mild abdominal discomfort to
a severe, life-threatening illness.
Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common cancer in the United States. It is
also the fourth deadliest. Approximately 37,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed
with pancreatic cancer annually.
Pancreatic cancer is a malignant disease that starts in the ductal cells of the pancreas.
The disease occurs when cells in the pancreas grow, divide, and spread uncontrollably,
forming a malignant tumor. In addition to cancerous tumors, there also are a
variety of benign (noncancerous) tumors that can develop in the pancreas.
Pancreatic cancer is known to spread silently, so in
most cases, symptoms do not present themselves until
the disease is in an advanced stage. Unfortunately, by
this point, treatment options are limited.
The Pancreas Clinic offers
state-of-the-art diagnostic tests
Detects gallstones and fluid
from inflammation in the abdomen
also show an enlarged common
bile duct, an abscess, or a pseudocyst
(a collection of tissue,
fluid and pancreatic enzymes).
Computed tomography (CT)
Can help rule out other abdominal
pain causes and determine
if tissue is dying. CT can identify
complications (fluid around the
pancreas, abscess or pseudocyst.)
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
tube is placed down the throat,
into the stomach, then into the
small intestine. Dye helps the
doctor view the bile and pancreatic
ducts on an X-ray.
is inserted down the throat into
the stomach. Sound waves show
abdominal organs and may reveal
gallstones. Endoscopic ultrasound
can help diagnose chronic pancreatitis
when an invasive test
might exacerbate the condition.
Fecal elastase test
elastase (an enzyme found in the
pancreas) in a stool sample to
test how well the pancreas works.
Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
A type of MRI
used to view bile ducts and the
Secretin pancreatic function
Measures the ability of the
pancreas to respond to the hormone
Call 866.798.7963 to make an appointment with any of our experts at
Cleveland Clinic’s Pancreas Clinic.
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