Pancreatitis Multidisciplinary Clinic Offers Pancreatitis Expertise And Streamlined Patient Care

The Pancreas Center is pleased to announce that it has established a dedicated pancreatitis clinic for the care of patients with acute and chronic pancreatitis. Serving the complex needs of patients with pancreatitis, this outpatient program includes all clinical specialties needed to diagnose and treat this condition, including gastroenterologists, surgeons, interventionalists, a nutritionist, experts in pain management, and more.

Beth Schrope, MD, PhD, an accomplished surgeon, researcher, and author on pancreatic disease, co-directs the pancreatitis clinic with John Poneros, MD, who specializes in the medical management of pancreatic disease. Their vision is to provide the highest quality care possible for patients who face this difficult-to-treat condition. “We have established a streamlined process so that if a patient needs an MRI or other imaging, we do the imaging in the morning, and then meet with the patient later in the day to determine the treatment plan. Avoiding the need for a second visit makes it easier on patients,” she says. Many patients with pancreatitis need interventional procedures to place a stent or drain fluid, and specialists are available at all times. Other experts at the clinic focus on pain management and digestive issues, as these are common needs.

Pancreatitis can be debilitating enough that it makes normal life impossible, and nuanced care is needed by physicians who can offer expertise in all aspects of care. Patients commonly report feeling hopeless and defeated when their local physicians or hospitals aren’t able to help, or worse yet, if they are accused of just seeking drugs. As one patient at the pancreatitis clinic said, “I am so glad this clinic is here. Someone finally understands I’m not just looking for drugs.”

What is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is chronic or acute inflammation of the pancreas, which can be extremely painful and debilitating. Although long-term alcohol abuse causes more than half of cases, pancreatitis can also be caused by gallstones, structural problems with the pancreatic and bile ducts, severe viral or bacterial infection, elevated levels of calcium or tryglicerides in the blood, autoimmune disease, mutations of the cystic fibrosis gene, and numerous other factors.

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