A pancreatic abscess is a cavity of pus within the pancreas.
Pancreatic abscesses develop in patients with pancreatic pseudocysts that become infected.
Patients with pancreatic abscesses usually have had pancreatitis. However, the complication often takes 7 or more days to develop.
Symptoms usually include:
Signs of an abscess can be seen on:
It may be possible to drain the abscess through the skin (percutaneous). Surgery to drain the abscess and remove dead tissue is often needed.
How the person does depends on how severe the infection is. The death rate from undrained pancreatic abscesses is very high.
Call your health care provider if you have persistent abdominal pain with fever or other signs of a pancreatic abscess, particularly if you have recently had a pancreatic pseudocyst or pancreatitis.
Adequate drainage of a pancreatic pseudocyst may help prevent some cases of pancreatic abscess. However, in many cases the disorder is not preventable.