Treatment of Severe Pain in Chronic Pancreatitis
Pain in chronic pancreatitis
The pain that develops in chronic pancreatitis is often severe, chronic (present all the time), often aggravated by meals and may be present continuously including at night. In some patient the pain is so severe that they develop a fear for eating and as a consequence lose significant amounts of weight.
The pain may begin gradually initially however in many patients over time develop continuous pain. The pain is usually worse in the back rather than in the front of the abdomen. The severity of the pain makes many patients into pain cripples. The severity of the pain with meals may lead to avoidance of food, causing severe weight loss and malnutrition.
Team approach to treatment of pain
Treatment of pain requires familiarity with the patient’s disease an understanding of wide variation in presentation and manifestation of chronic pancreatitis and knowledge of the different treatment options available, their advantages and disadvantages.
Treatment is best provided in a center where experienced physicians from different specialties provide comprehensives approach to the care of the patient and there is coordination of care between the different specialties.
USC treatment protocol
At USC we offer a comprehensive approach to pain from pancreatic disease with clinical evaluation by a pain management specialist, pancreatic surgeon, gastroenterologist and a psychologist as indicated. Many patients also require may require treatment in a rehabilitation program prior to or after the surgery for drug dependency. The drug dependency develops to narcotic drugs due to years of over usage prior to a surgical consult in many patients.
The treatments for the pain offered at USC include: