UCLA specialists are experts in pancreatic cysts—our specialists even write national guidelines for managing the condition. We offer minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cysts, which often eliminates the need for surgery.
Pancreatic cysts are small pockets of fluid in the pancreas. Most pancreatic cysts are benign (non-cancerous), and your specialist may recommend several tests to determine the best course of treatment.
There are two types of pancreatic cysts: pseudocysts (inflammatory cysts) and neoplastic cysts.
Doctors typically manage pseudocysts with drainage or observation. If the cyst is potentially cancerous, specialists use endoscopic ultrasound to examine the cyst and take a tissue sample. This minimally invasive procedure involves a thin, flexible tube inserted into the digestive tract.
Neoplastic cysts are categorized as serous cysts (typically non-cancerous) or mucinous cysts, which can become malignant (cancerous).
Doctors don’t fully understand the cause of pancreatic cysts. Pseudocysts may result from acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic injury.
Many pancreatic cysts don’t cause symptoms and are often discovered on imaging tests for other issues. If symptoms are present, patients may experience:
UCLA doctors use a variety of techniques to diagnose pancreatic cysts. These include:
Many patients are understandably concerned about the risk of pancreatic cysts becoming malignant (cancerous). We provide personalized treatment for pancreatic cysts that identifies this risk and addresses your specific symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend one of the following treatment options for pancreatic cysts:
For more information or to make an appointment with our team of specialists, please call us at (310) 206-6889.