Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Pancreas Disorders Forum

Acute Pancreatitis after gallstones

Hi you guys,
hope you're all doing ok or recovering.
I am VERY worried and would really appreciate any input on this...

A friend of mine has been hospitalized for ONE MONTH now with Acute Pancreatitis (!!!).
She has always been healthy, quite skinny & fit, 32 years old and just the sweetest nicest girl.

It started with gall stones, then a couple of days she returned to the hospital with bad pain... it was an inflammation of the pancreas "head".

First she was put into only IV fluids (+ pain meds) for about two weeks, not eating anything to calm down the pancreas. At some point her stomach got inflammation too but it then recovered.

Then they put a tube on her chest to feed her some liquid food & vitamins and some pain meds (plus every two hours heavier pain meds injected on her leg).

Then into the 2nd week they OP-ed her to remove a sample of the pancreas to test for cancer... (of course came negative)
I would think "take a look at the gallbladder!" since it was how it all started and pancreatitis being a well known complication from gall stones but no, they "forgot" the gall bladder totally and kept thinking "what could it be..." letting time pass, her pancreas get more and more affected, her whole body weaker.

They told her to eat and she tried a bit for a while (together with the feeding tubes). She's had quite a few horrible tests including one with contrast stuff and x-rays & all that's supposedly possible...

Then they told her towards the middle of her 3rd week there "oh it could be the gall bladder" so they operated her and removed it.

They told her the OP was a success and that "yep, that's where the problem lay" and that she (her pancreas" would be recovering from then on.
Problem is, it hasn't!!!

She is now on her 4th week hospitalized (having spent a couple of days at intensive care) in much worse shape and I'm desperately worried they're not gonna find a way to save her!

I don't know all the details and values but she told me today that the new blood test says that now not only the pancreas "head" but also the "tail" (?) is also inflammated,
and that the pancreas "value" (I suppose the enzymes) which should have a normal value of 50 are now by her up to a 1000 (yes, a THOUSAND!), the highest in this whole month of misery.

She is having trouble breathing now and the doctors said there is water in her lungs.

I am very very worried and the doctor (supposedly one of the best in the country, a "professor" with 35+ years of pancreas experience) has told her on the first week that in all his years of experience hers has been the most complicated (not quite encouraging).

It pisses me off that for example, he said "yeah we might have to remove the gall bladder for that might be what's causing the pancreas not to recover".... then "let's think about that"... two days later "yeah, let's decide after the next blood test tomorrow morning", he comes late at night and keeps saying "let's wait and see" or never to have an action plan or to know what's exactly could be wrong! It's like it's not important / serious enough, when from what I've been reading she can just die from this! One month!!!

Last I heard they were going to start with cortisone (something they mentioned over a week ago but decided not to try for whatever reason).

I don't know what to think of this and wish I could help her somehow.

Have you guys heard of anything similar?! Am I right for feeling desperate her or not?! Sad Sad Sad

Thanks & take care

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replied August 22nd, 2008
Forgot to add!
Sorry it got so big, but that's all the info I had! And still, I forgot two things...

In between the pancreas biopsy and the removal of the gallbladder they had an OP to look into the pancreas "exit" to see "if the way blocked" even if partially, as the cause of the inflammation.

If it was obstructed they would have inserted a sort of "balloon" & pump it up in there so as to "open the way" I supposed so as for the enzymes to flow out.

The way was NOT obstructed / blocked, so they didn't do anything there.

Then last week (after she got out of the intensive care and had gotten through the first problem with her lung--before it got full of fluid as it is right now)
they said she has gotten anemic and might need a blood transfusion (!!?)
I asked her what is her blood type and since it's the same as mine I said I'd come over right then and there to give her some blood (thinking the reason they were hesitating on this was the lack of).
But the Dr. again said "we'll think about the transfusion tomorrow" then tomorrow... then as for now still haven't given her any blood (maybe injected some iron, I don't know).

I wish I knew the names of all the tests and meds given...

...but knowing so little (which still seems like "too much"!) any ideas of what else can be done?!
What can be causing for the pancreas not to be able to recover???!!!!

Thanks for any input


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