Pancreas Ultrasound Scan
Ultrasonography is the first imaging modality used in the evaluation of the pancreas due to its relatively low cost, wide availability, and non-invasiveness. A Pancreas Ultrasound Scan of your abdomen will show the pancreas and the surrounding area, including your liver. It can show if a tumor is a present and its size. You will lie on your back for the procedure. The pancreas is a yellowish-pink lobulated gland, located behind the stomach from the duodenum to the spleen. Its main function is to release enzymes into the intestine to aid the digestion of food.
Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by the inflammation of the pancreas. It can either be acute or chronic.
- Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that usually lasts for a short time. The main causes are gallstones and alcoholism accounting for 80%. However, other causes include medication, infection, and can also be hereditary. Hereditary pancreatitis usually begins in childhood but may not be diagnosed for several years. Patients present with severe epigastric pain, abdominal distention, nausea, or vomiting.
- Chronic pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas that gradually worsens over time leading to permanent damage. The cause of chronic pancreatitis is mainly due by alcoholism and can also be caused by a blocked pancreatic duct. Symptoms include abdominal pain particularly postprandial and fatty stools due to malabsorption.
Other complications include biliary obstruction and portal and splenic vein thrombosis. Thrombosis of the portal vein can be caused by fibrosis and inflammation as well as the compression by a pseudocyst.
Fatty Pancreas: Fatty pancreas is caused by the accumulation of fat in the pancreas. It is usually found incidentally. Causes of fatty pancreas include consumption of alcohol, viral infections, and metabolic syndrome. Fatty infiltration of the pancreas can develop into pancreatitis, diabetes and may even be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
Pseudocysts: Pseudocysts are collections of fluid in the pancreas, and they are more commonly found in patients and are usually a complication of chronic pancreatitis. They occur when the pancreatic duct becomes damaged, therefore pancreatic juice leaks and accumulates creating a cyst. They are mostly observed in patients with alcoholism. The majority of pseudocysts are found in the head of the pancreas. Patients mainly present with abdominal pain and bloating.
Pancreatic carcinoma: Pancreatic carcinoma is the second most common tumor of the digestive system. The majority of tumors are adenocarcinomas, and they are located within the pancreatic head therefore, patients present with jaundice because the CBD is obstructed. Other symptoms found in patients include anorexia, epigastric pain, and weight loss. Ultrasound plays a key role in the diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma where tumors that measure less than 10mm are expected to have a good prognosis.
Who is this scan for?
This scan is suitable for everybody from young age, reaching puberty, from the start of your monthly periods. The scan is very important in the years that you start your family and pregnancy, till the later years towards the stop of your periods during menopause stage. The scan is for all women, young and old, single, or married. At some stage of your life, you might need some sort of investigation/ imaging/ screening for treatment or management of your female, fertility, gynaecology, menopausal problems and this scan is the most suitable step in your plan.
Transabdominal (over the tummy with full bladder) and transvaginal (intravaginally or internal scan ultrasound scans are the two methods of assessing and viewing female anatomy. Both techniques are used in conjunction to provide a complete study of the female pelvis. These non-invasive techniques are fast reliable and safe ways which, provide clinicians, gynaecologists with an understanding of the possibility of pelvic diseases and pathologies, hence better management, and treatment of their patients.
During a pelvic scan and depending on the problem or questions raised we can determine:
*The puberty stages of the female anatomy.
*The causes of abnormal periods, whether heavy or light regular or irregular, with pain or severe problems such as vomiting and abdominal cramps.
*Presence of intra cavity polyps.
*Presence of fibroids, site and number.
*Correct place for IUD/ Contraceptive devices/ coils.
*Abnormal womb shapes with the possibility of the reason for recurrent miscarriages.
+*All fertility and infertility issues.
++++Tracking IVF treatments and timing of ovulation, egg retrievals and embryo implantations.
*Assessment of ovaries, shape, size, and their pattern.
* Accurate diagnosis of polycystic ovaries and endometriosis.
* Pelvis and renal malformations, possible adhesions, and frozen pelvis.
*Assessment of urinary bladder for shape, size, volume, pathologies and urinary retention and residue.
*Screening for early signs of ovarian cancer and annual monitoring of patients with family history of ovarian cancer.
*Assessment of the pelvis for signs of menopause.
* Post-menopausal screenings for signs of ovarian or endometrial cancer.
At London private ultrasound, we use the state-of-the-art equipment and with highly trained experienced professionals who, provide a unparallel diagnostic service to our patients. With a compassionate and empathic approach to find the root of patient problem and concerns.