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"I've had a tube in my pancreas for 4 years, does it have to come out?"

ZocdocAnswersI've had a tube in my pancreas for 4 years, does it have to come out?


I had pancreatitis and had my gallbladder removed


I am sorry to hear about your prior illness, and I hope you have recovered completely from your bout of pancreatitis. You will need to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist to determine the best course of action. It is not possible to provide an accurate answer without reviewing your entire medical history, lab work, and imaging and also performing a thorough physical exam. Pancreatitis often occurs when the enzymes your pancreas normally creates to digest food are unable to exit through the pancreatic ducts. When this occurs, these enzymes often start digesting the pancreas itself. This causes severe inflammation and pain and can even lead to death. Pancreatitis is often caused by alcohol abuse, obstruction from a gallstone, and medications. From your question, it seems that a gallstone caused obstruction of your pancreatic ducts. Stents are often placed in the pancreatic ducts to hold them open and prevent further obstruction. These are typically placed via an endoscope, or long flexible tube with a camera on the end. Typically, these are not removed. However, they can migrate and lead to obstruction themselves. I encourage you to raise this concern with a gastroenterologist. Once they review your studies, they can guide you on the next best course of action.

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