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Acute Pancreatitis

This is an inflammation & swelling of the pancreas which develops very suddenly and, in the majority of patients (about 75%) improves steadily with good in hospital treatment over the course of a week or so.

What Happens In Acute Pancreatitis?

The pancreas produces chemicals called enzymes, as well as the hormones insulin and glucagon. Most of the time, the enzymes are only active after they reach the small intestine, where they are needed to digest food. Because premature activation of pancreatic enzymes within the pancreas leads to organ injury and pancreatitis, several mechanisms exist to limit this occurrence.

Under various conditions, these protective mechanisms are disrupted & enzymes somehow become active inside the pancreas, they eat (and digest) the tissue of the pancreas. This causes swelling of the pancreas, collection of fluid in surrounding areas & also in distant tissues, bleeding (hemorrhage); and damage to the pancreas and its blood vessels with eventually death or gangrene of pancreatic tissue (pancreatic necrosis).

As the toxins spread in the body, complications can arise in the rest of the body as well, such as microorganisms enter bloodstream through the porous intestinal walls, breathlessness (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome - ARDS) or respiratory failure due to accumulation of fluid in lungs (wet lungs) & around lungs (pleural effusion), gastrointestinal bleeding and renal failure. The inflammatory process initiated by pancreatitis can involve the entire body if very severe & is called Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) it can lead to the development of systemic shock. Eventually, the inflammation can become so overwhelming to the body that hemodynamic instability and death ensue.

Acute Pancreatitis Causes

There are many causes of acute pancreatitis, and it can affect people of any age. Men are affected more often than women. Alcoholism and gallstones most often cause the condition. Genetic changes may be a factor in some cases. Sometimes the cause is not known, however (termed idiopathic). In 10-30% of cases, the cause is unknown in the initial investigations, but persistent investigations are able to solve the dilemma in almost 70% of these.

The etiology in males is more often related to alcohol; in females, to biliary tract disease. Idiopathic pancreatitis has no clear predilection for either sex.

Other conditions that have been linked to pancreatitis are:

  • Autoimmune problems (when the immune system attacks the body)
  • Blockage of the pancreatic duct or common bile duct, the tubes that drain enzymes from the pancreas • Damage to the ducts or pancreas during surgery
  • High blood levels of fat called triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)
  • Injury (Trauma) to the pancreas from an accident
  • Pancreas divisum (congenital anatomical problem)
  • Annular pancreas (congenital anatomical problem)
  • Choledocal cyst (congenital anatomical problem)
  • Abnormal joining of pancreatic & bile duct (congenital anatomical problem)
  • Pregnancy
  • Heredity or genetic problems
  • High blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia)
  • High parathyroid hormone levels due to any cause (hyperparathyroidism)
  • Drugs (e.g. estrogens, corticosteroids, thiazide diuretics, and azathioprine)
  • Viral infections like mumps

Acute Pancreatitis Symptoms & Signs

The cardinal symptom of acute pancreatitis is abdominal pain, which is characteristically dull, boring, and steady. Usually, the pain is sudden in onset and gradually intensifies in severity until reaching a constant ache. Most often, it is located in the upper abdomen, usually in the epigastric region, but it may be perceived more on the left or right side, depending on which portion of the pancreas is involved. The pain may radiate directly through the abdomen to the back or left shoulder. May be worse within minutes after eating or drinking at first, especially if foods have a high fat content.

Nausea and vomiting are often present along with accompanying anorexia. Diarrhea can also occur. Positioning can be important, because the discomfort frequently worsens with the patient in the flat position.

Other symptoms that may occur with this disease include inability to pass wind or stools, gaseous abdominal fullness, hiccups, indigestion, mild yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) & bloated tummy.


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Pancreatic Specialist in Mumbai, India

Dr.D.R. Kulkarni - Hepato Pancreato Biliary Surgeon

Dr. D. R. Kulkarni is an eminent pancreatic doctor in Mumbai, India - Hi is a Consultant HPB Surgeon at many renowned hospitals in Mumbai for last 12+ years.


pancreas doctor in mumbai india

He earned his medical degree from Mumbai University and began his surgical career at B. Y. L.Nair Municipal Hospital, Mumbai. After post-graduation in General Surgery, Dr. Kulkarni worked in the capacity of Lecturer with the same department and then proceeded for advanced training in HPB Surgery and Liver Transplantation to Hong Kong and later to Paris. Read more >>

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Click here to check acute pancreatitis treatment cost in india. The cost of treatment depends on the medical facilities that you get.

Recent blog posts

Acute Pancreatitis

What Is Acute Pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis is sudden inflammation of the pancreas that may be mild or life threatening but usually subsides. Gallstones and alcohol abuse are the main causes of acute pancreatitis. Severe abdominal pain is the predominant symptom.
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For Consultation Available At:

Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, India.

Timing: Monday To Friday - 9am To 5pm & Saturday 9am To 2pm
(Consultation Only by Appointment)

Address: Lilavati Hospital, A-791, Bandra Reclamation Rd, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

Hinduja Hospital ( Hinduja Healthcare)

Timing: Thursday 4pm To 6pm, Saturday 10am To 12pm
(Consultation Only by Appointment)

Address: Address: 724, 11th Road, Khar West, Mumbai 400052, India

Asian Cancer Institute

Timing: Tuesday & Friday - 5pm To 7pm
(Consultation Only by Appointment)

Address: Somaiya Ayurvihar Behind Everard Nagar, Off, Eastern Express Hwy, Sion East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400022

Asian Cancer Institute - Cumballa Hill, Mumbai

Timing: Saturday 9am To 10am
(Consultation Only by Appointment)

Address: August Kranti Rd, Kemps Corner, Cumballa Hill, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036

Guru Nanak Hospital

Timing: Wednesday 4pm To 6pm & Saturday 2pm To 4pm
(Consultation Only by Appointment)

Address: S 341 Near Collector Office, Gandhi Nagar, Bandra East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400051


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In view of the ongoing COVID problems, we have started the facility of consultation on what’s app (video / chat) for the benefit of patients who are not in a position to travel immediately in COVID times or those who are stable at home. This is a temporary arrangement. This form of consultation has its limitations since physical examination is not possible and this fact should be noted. The consultation charges are Rs 3000/- . The charges are to be transferred to the account details given below after the appointment is confirmed but before the consultation begins.


Account Details

Name: Dattaprasanna Kulkarni
Account Number: 315602011003180
Bank: Union Bank Of India
Branch: Hill Road Branch Bandra West Mumbai 400050
IFSC: UBIN0531561

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