Victorian HepatoPancreato Biliary Surgery Group, Malvern Victoria
Patient Info

Pancreatic Pseudocyst Drainage

  1. General
  2. The Procedure
  3. Post Procedure
  4. Discharge Instructions

1. General

  • A pancreatic pseudocyst is a collection of fluid that forms after acute pancreatitis
  • The fluid is trapped within fibrous tissue
  • If left untreated, they may rupture
  • Surgical drainage may be an option for treatment
  • Pseudocysts smaller than six centimeters usually disappear without intervention
  • If it is larger than six centimeters, causes symptoms, and is present for over two months, the pseudocyst is usually surgically drained

2. The Procedure

  • The procedure can be performed with an open incision or with laparoscopic devices inserted through small incisions

  • If the procedure is done laparoscopically, the surgeon will make three to four small incisions, and insert tube-like instruments through them

  • The abdomen will be filled with gas to help the surgeon view the abdominal cavity

  • A camera will be inserted through one of the tubes that will display images on a monitor in the operating room

  • Other instruments will be placed through the additional tubes

  • Your surgeon will be able to work inside your abdomen without making a larger incision

  • If the procedure cannot be performed laparoscopically, your surgeon will make an incision to open the abdominal cavity

  • Once inside, your surgeon will use a needle to drain the cyst

  • A large cyst may require a temporary drain or tube to be left in for a few days to allow it to drain completely

  • You will be given general anaesthetic during the procedure and will be completely asleep

  • As with any surgery, there are risks such as bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction to anesthesia

  • A pancreatic abscess may develop if the pseudocyst is not adequately drained

  • Remember to ask your surgeon about risks before your procedure

3. Post Procedure

  • Once the surgery is completed, you will be taken to a post-operative or recovery unit where a nurse will monitor your progress

  • It is important that your bandages are kept clean

  • You may experience mild discomfort at the incision site, so may be prescribed pain medication

  • Most patients are in hospital for three to four days with an open pseudocyst drainage and one to two days after laparoscopic pseudocyst drainage

  • You may need a ride home when discharged from the hospital

  • If the procedure is performed laparoscopically, there will be three to four small scars. If the open method is used, there will be a single larger scar

4. Discharge Instructions

  • You will be encouraged to return to normal activities such as showering, driving, walking up stairs, light lifting, and work as soon as you feel comfortable

  • Some patients can return to work in a few days while others prefer to wait longer. You should not engage in heavy lifting or straining for six to eight weeks after open surgery

  • If you are taking narcotic medications for pain, you should not drive

  • You will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment after your surgery

  • Be sure to call your doctor if you experience fever or chills, persistent pain or notice any drainage from any incision
A/Prof Val Usatoff
A/Prof Val Usatoff
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Mr Marty Smith
Mr Marty Smith
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Mr Frederick Huynh
Mr Frederick Huynh
BSc (Hons) MBBS (Hons) FRACS
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