Pancreaticobiliary Disorders

Unhealthy young woman with stomachache leaning on the bed at home.


Pancreaticobiliary Disorders

Pancreaticobiliary disorders are disorders of the pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts: 

Disorders of the Pancreas

Disorders of the pancreas include:

  • Acute pancreatitis appears suddenly and lasts for days.  Most patients with acute pancreatitis recover completely. 
  • Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive disorder associated with destruction of the pancreas.  The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis in the United States is chronic alcohol abuse.   
  • Hereditary pancreatitis can cause recurrent acute pancreatitis.  The most common inherited disorder is cystic fibrosis. 
  • Pancreatic cancer grows insidiously and initially does not cause symptoms. It is resistant to many standard treatments. 
Gallbladder Disorders

Gallbladder disorders include:

  • Inflammation (cholecystitis) 
  • Infection
  • Stones or blockage of the gallbladder with gallstones being the most common (cholelithiasis)
Bile Duct Disorders

Bile duct disorders include:

  • Stones (choledocholithiasis)  
  • Strictures or blockage 
  • Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma) occurs when a malignant tumor grows in one of the ducts
  • Cysts
  • Infection (cholangitis)

If you experience symptoms or are worried you may have a pancreaticobiliary disorder, rest assured your Saint John’s Physician Partners gastroenterologist has the expertise to diagnose and treat you.  We can help.


Pancreaticobiliary Disorders Symptoms

When your pancreas are not functioning well, you may have the following symptoms: 

  • Abdominal Tenderness, Swelling or Pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Excess Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Foul-smelling and lightly colored stools
  • Unintended weight loss and malnutrition

Symptoms of gallbladder disorders share similar symptoms, including:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Digestive Problems
  • Fever and Chills
  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Jaundice
  • Unusual Stools or Urine

Bile duct disorders symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Jaundice
  • Clay Colored Stools
  • Dark Urine
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Loss of Appetite


Pancreaticobiliary Disorders Complications

Pancreatic Disorders Risks and Complications

Pancreatic disorders risks and complications include:

  • With mild pancreatitis, there are rarely any complications or organ dysfunction and you will recover completely.   
  • Chronic pancreatitis can lead to irreversible changes and loss of function.  The loss of function can lead to diabetes mellitus and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.  The inflammation and fibrosis can potentially lead to chronic abdominal pain, metabolic bone disease and pancreatic cancer. 
Gallbladder Disease Complications

Gallbladder disease complications may include: 

  • Gallstones
  • Obstruction of the intestine 
  • Inflammation and scarring
  • Perforation in the gallbladder
  • Peritonitis, which is bacterial contamination of the abdomen 
  • Malignant transformation that can lead to a cancerous tumor
Bile Duct Disorders Risks and Complications

Bile duct disorders risks and complications include: 

  • Gallstones
  • Severe infection
  • Strictures or blockage 
  • Cancer


Pancreaticobiliary Disorders Diagnosis

Your doctor may order the following to diagnose pancreaticobiliary disorders: 

  • Blood tests
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Cholangiogram
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatograpy (ERCP) 
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
  • Genetic testing


Pancreaticobiliary Disorders Treatments

Treatment will depend on your specific diagnosis which may include medications, procedures such as EUS and ERCP or surgery which will be determined based on discussion with your st john’s GI physician.  


Pancreaticobiliary Disorders Specialists

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404

1301 20th St., Suite 280, Santa Monica, CA 90404