Inflammation of the pancreas is known as pancreatitis

When digestive juices or enzymes attack the pancreas, redness and swelling occur

In many cases, pancreatitis can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, avoiding overeating, losing weight and decreasing alcohol intake. We help you decide which approach—from diet modification and medication therapy to surgery—is best for you.

Chronic pancreatitis can lead to permanent damage

Inflammation of the pancreas occurs in both acute and chronic cases. Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and usually resolves in a few days with proper treatment, whereas chronic pancreatitis typically gets worse over time and does not resolve.

Causes of chronic pancreatitis may include:

  • Long-term alcohol abuse
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Genetics
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • High levels of calcium or fat present in the blood

Patients and their care team will determine treatment plans based on age, medical history, type of pancreatitis and personal preferences. Pancreatitis treatment options may include:

  • Hospitalization, rest with IV fluids
  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Clinical trials (when appropriate)

Islet autotransplant offers relief for chronic pancreatitis

Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health, offers the only transplant program in Texas that performs total pancreatectomy (removal of the pancreas) followed by islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) for acute relapsing and chronic pancreatitis. This program has performed more than 200 islet autotransplants for chronic pancreatitis since 2006, making it one of the busiest TPIAT programs in the world.

Our team of dedicated specialists on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute in Dallas provides evaluation, diagnosis and treatment options for patients with this debilitating disease. The surgical director of the islet autotransplant program is Ernest Beecherl, MD.

Benefits of TPIAT

  • Alleviate or eliminate pain
  • Improve patient's quality of life
  • Minimize the amount of insulin required (without a pancreas, the body can only produce insulin with an islet cell transplant)
  • No risk of rejection
  • Anti-rejection medication is unnecessary since patients receive their own islet cells

Specialized center

Liver and Pancreas Disease Center

Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health, and Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth are among a handful of centers in the nation with a dedicated facility and team focused on treating patients with liver and pancreas diseases and cancer.