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At the Pancreatic Disorders Center, we know every child's pancreatitis is unique.
Many kids have one pancreatitis attack and never have another. For some, pancreatitis attacks happen more than once.
After an acute pancreatitis attack, your child's doctor may refer them to the Pancreatic Disorders Center.
If your child has repeated attacks, this is acute recurrent pancreatitis. A small number of kids go on to get chronic or lifelong pancreatitis.
Our team will tailor treatment to meet your child's needs. Your child will get the best treatment for their symptoms and type of pancreatitis. We aim to reduce your child's pain and improve their quality of life.
Childhood doesn't last long. Your child shouldn't spend time worrying about their pain or health. We can help them take control of their illness to enjoy their youth.
No single medicine or treatment can make your kid get better from pancreatitis.
Treatment focuses on helping your child manage their symptoms. We focus on getting them a good quality of life.
Your child may need medicines to keep symptoms from getting in the way of life. These include:
If your child has diabetes related to their pancreatitis, UPMC's Pediatric Endocrinology team can help control their blood sugar.
When your child has pancreatitis, they may not get the nutrients their body needs to grow and thrive. Through the Pancreatic Disorders Center, your family can access UPMC-registered dietitians. They can help your child get the food and nutrients they need.
Nutritional therapy may include:
Therapeutic endoscopy can help diagnose and treat pancreatitis. These are minimally invasive treatments.
We use them to drain the pancreas or take out gall- and bile duct stones that cause your child pain.
This type of treatment includes:
In rare cases, your child may need surgery for their pancreatitis. Surgical options include:
TPIAT is an option for kids with advanced pancreatitis who have not improved after other medicines and treatments. This is a major surgery that removes the pancreas and associated organs.
During the surgery, the doctor takes islet cells from the child's pancreas and puts them into the liver. These are the cells that make insulin to control blood sugar. Without them, the child would have diabetes.
Putting the islet cells in the liver reduces the likelihood of diabetes.
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is one of the few centers in the country to offer this surgery for kids.
They will do a full workup to see if your child might benefit from TPIAT. This will include:
Once this review is complete, team members will meet to see if your child can safely have this surgery.
TPIAT is major surgery. It involves several steps.
After surgery, you can expect your child to stay in the hospital for a few weeks.
After your child goes home, they will have regular office visits with the hormone and digestive health teams.
Your child will also need to watch their blood sugar closely. They will need to take insulin regularly. Children who undergo TPIAT can sometimes come off insulin in the weeks following surgery.
Your child will also need to take enzyme capsules with each meal. These medicines replace the digestive work of the pancreas. This is a lifelong therapy — they must take these capsules for the rest of their lives with each meal.
The Pancreatic Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is here for your family.
Call us at 412-692-5180 to learn more.
We're in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood at:
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
4401 Penn Ave., Floor 3
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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