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Pancreatic pseudocyst

  • Definition

    A pancreatic pseudocyst is a fluid-filled sac in the abdomen, which may also contain tissue from the pancreas, pancreatic enzymes, and blood.

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach that produces chemicals (called enzymes) needed to digest food. It also produces the hormones insulin and glucagon.

    Pancreatic pseudocysts most often develop after an episode of severe, acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is sudden swelling (inflammation) of the pancreas.

    It may also occur after trauma to the abdomen, more often in children.

    The cyst happens when the ducts (tubes) in the pancreas are damaged by the inflammation or swelling that occurs during pancreatitis.

    A pancreatic pseudocyst may also occur after trauma to the abdomen, and in someone with chronic pancreatitis.