Ever experience sudden severe abdominal pain which is sharp in nature and radiates to the back? An ultrasound of pancreas can sometimes be a difficult scan to perform depending on the patient size and body habitus, however with proper preparation an efficient ultrasound study can help diagnose various pancreatic disorders.
What is the purpose of the pancreas?
The pancreas is a non-encapsulated organ which is located in the mid epigastric area of the abdomen. The pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream to help regulate sugar levels throughout the body. Patients with a history of diabetes, pancreatitis, or abdominal pain should have their pancreas scanned through ultrasound to detect any possible signs of pathology.
Signs and lab values that may be associated with pancreatic conditions
- Weight Loss / Anorexia
- Elevated Amylase
- Elevated Lipase
- Episodes of Pancreatitis
- Sharp pain radiating to the back
- Pale, greasy stools
Why is performing an ultrasound of the pancreas important?
Ultrasound of the pancreas can help you find out undiagnosed conditions that you may not be aware of. Issues such as pancreatitis, elevated pancreatic enzymes or unspecified mass that involves the pancreas can be seen through ultrasound. It is important to not ignore these signs and to have the proper workup performed.
What preparations are there prior to performing an ultrasound of the pancreas?
Ultrasound of the pancreas requires a fasting period that our physician can speak to you about.
Benefits of pancreatic ultrasound
Performing an ultrasound of the pancreas is the safest approach to detecting if there are any irregularities within the pancreas or biliary tree without exposure to contrast agents or radiation. An ultrasound is a quick and efficient procedure that can be performed in our office.