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6 Major Complications of Acute Pancreatitis

Any inflammation to the pancreas is termed as Pancreatitis. This organ is responsible for producing a digestive juice called pancreatic juice and a hormone called Insulin. So an inflammation to the pancreas negatively impacts digestion and regulation of glucose in the blood. Here are 6 major complications that can arise out of pancreatitis.

Pancreatic Necrosis

It is infection associated with Acute Pancreatitis. When there is frequent attack of acute pancreatitis, then some of the pancreatic tissues might die. Any infection to these dead pancreatic tissues is referred as Pancreatic Necrosis. The condition is medically referred as Acute Necrotising Pancreatitis.

Pancreatic Abscess

After several weeks of getting Acute Necrotising Pancreatitis, the necrotized pancreatic tissues might develop abscess on few of them. So for such people, the complications are huge as they need to battle both necrosis and the abscess.

Haemorrhagic Pancreatitis

In acute pancreatitis there is a bleeding within or around the pancreas sometimes. This condition is referred as Haemorrhagic Pancreatitis. This is not a common complication but it might occur in few individuals. The possibility of Haemorrhagic Pancreatitis increases for people with pancreatitic necrosis. Both arteries and veins that run in and out of pancreas can be damaged in severe cases of acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. The splenic vein and arteries are the most affected when complication to vascular structures emerge. The resulting bleeding is a recognized complication of pancreatitis.

Pancreatic Pseudocysts

When the pancreatic juice leaks, the fluid accumulates along with other debris in the pancreas. This might then form cyst-like pockets on the pancreas. These cyst-like pockets are referred as pancreatic pseudocysts. Generally speaking a pancreatic juice leak and subsequent fluid collection will generally resolve on its own in common acute pancreatitis cases. But if the acute pancreatitis is due to some kind of duct disruption due to the stones, then the chances of a pseudocyst formation is really high. In general, the pseudocysts appears after 4-6 weeks of acute pancreatitis attack.

Ductal Disruption

When pancreatic necrosis happens it affects the ducts too. The pancreatic ducts are not immune to necrosis. Sometimes even if there is no necrosis, just simple pancreatic juice leak can disrupt the ducts. Any damage to the duct complicates the entire treatment of acute pancreatitis.


If the acute pancreatitis affects the tail of pancreas, the insulin production can be disrupted leading to diabetes.

Surgical Intervention for Complications of Pancreatitis

Dr Maran says that surgery is the only way forward to control any complications of pancreatitis. He emphasizes the importance of accurate diagnosis of the complications. Many times more than one complication might be present complicating the surgical intervention also. Dr Maran says that Pancreas is one of the most sensitive organs of the body and any surgical intervention has to be addressed with extreme care and caution.

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