Pancreas Care
Conditions We Treat

Conditions Treated at the Pancreas Care Center

Our team cares for the with a full spectrum of pancreatic disorders and conditions, including:

  • Acute, recurrent and chronic pancreatitisPancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, which can last days, months and, in some cases, years. Mild pancreatitis may go away without treatment, but severe or recurrent cases can last for a long time and cause serious, long-term complications.
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis. This chronic inflammation is likely caused by the body's immune system attacking the pancreas.
  • Birth defects, including:
    • Annular pancreas, a condition in which tissue from the pancreas surrounds the small intestine in the abdomen. When this happens, the small intestine can become blocked, which can affect a person’s ability to digest food.
    • Pancreas divisum occurs when parts of the ducts in the pancreas do not join together properly during prenatal development. This can cause blockage in the pancreatic duct, which can result in pancreatitis. 
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiencyThis digestive condition occurs when the pancreas is damaged and stops producing enough digestive enzymes. It is associated with malabsorption (the inability to absorb certain nutrients from food). For this complication, our center  is capable of performing testing that is not readily available at most pediatric centers, such as endoscopic and radiological function testing to assess the degree of insufficiency. These tests help our team make the best plan of action for treatment.
  • Pancreatic cysts and pseudocysts. Pancreatic cysts are sac-like pockets of fluid surrounding or inside the pancreas. Pancreatic pseudocysts are noncancerous pockets of fluid that are lined with scar tissue and inflammation. These cysts may resolve on their own, while other times, if causing significant symptoms, they may require drainage or operation.  
  • Pancreatic tumors. These tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign. Our physicians work with oncologists at Cincinnati Children’s to care for patients with malignant tumors such as pancreatoblastomas, as well as those associated with von Hippel-Lindau syndrome or other neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Pancreatic traumaThis occurs when the pancreas is injured due to an incident such as a car accident or fall. A multidisciplinary approach by our team to such an event ensures the best recovery.

Treatment Options / Surgery

Surgical procedures are performed by our hepatopancreaticobiliary and transplant surgery specialists, and endoscopic procedures such as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) are performed by an ERCP-fellowship trained, pediatric endoscopist with in-depth endoscopic experience.

Frequent care conferences provide opportunities for our specialists to discuss how each patient is progressing and to look for ways to enhance their care. As patients near adulthood, our social workers help them make a smooth transition to an adult provider. Learn more about the comprehensive treatment options for children with pancreatic disorders.

Pancreatic Injuries

The pancreas is not well protected in children due to their thin abdominal walls and underdeveloped muscles, so they are more likely than an adult to have a pancreas injury.

Learn more about pancreatic injuries in our Health Topics section.

Pancreas Video Playlist

Watch a collection of videos produced by Cincinnati Children's Pancreas Care Center, including: 

  • Treating Pancreatitis with ERCP
  • What is TPIAT? (medical animation)
  • Surgeries for Pancreatic Disorders 
  • The Pancreas Care Center Overview
  • Diabetes after TPIAT Surgery
  • Pain Management for Pancreatitis
  • Pediatric ERCP

Watch Now

Research That Enhances Clinical Care

Cincinnati Children’s is a leader in conducting research to better understand the underlying causes of pediatric pancreatic disorders. We maintain a patient registry, and use the data to identify ways to standardize patient care protocols in order to minimize exposure to narcotics, shorten hospital stays and improve clinical outcomes. Patients who are eligible for other research studies at the Pancreas Care Center and are interested in participating are encouraged to do so.