Tumors and inflammation of the pancreas are two of the more common reasons to perform a pancreas Computed Tomography (CT) scan on a patient. It may also be used to determine injuries to the pancreas, as well as the presence of abscesses, lesions and bleeding. Doctors may also order this type of scan when there is unexplained stomach pain.
Stomach or abdominal pain is a common symptom of many different conditions involving the pancreas. This is partly because the location of the pancreas is deep in the abdomen, behind the stomach. For this reason it's fairly common for a doctor to order a pancreas CT scan in a patient with stomach pain to determine if the pancreas is the cause of pain.
Pancreas CT scans are frequently used alongside other diagnostic tests to help determine the presence of tumors in the pancreas. There are numerous types of tumors that can appear in this part of the body. Not all types of tumors in the pancreas are cancerous, but it is important that the presence of any tumor is detected as soon as possible in case it is cancerous.
When removing tissue from a tumor to determine if it is cancerous, a pancreas CT scan may be used to help guide the doctor. A CT scan also provides other useful information when it comes to cancer of the pancreas. Once the cancer has been properly diagnosed the scan may also help to determine if it has spread and if it is safe to remove.
A CT scan of the pancreas can also be used to check for pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas. When the pancreas is inflamed one of the common symptoms is severe stomach pain. Certain people may also experience pain in the back as well. The information obtained from CT scans of the pancreas play an important part in diagnosing and treating this condition. Pancreatitis may also result in a pancreatic abscess. This can also occur in people who have cysts filled with fluid and tissue from the pancreas, called pancreatic pseudocyst. Both of these conditions are often accompanied by stomach pain and nausea. A pancreas CT scan is one of the diagnostic tests that will help to accurately diagnose either of them.
Pancreas CT scans can also help check for injuries to the pancreas caused by trauma from automobile accidents, a strong blow or a puncture wound. A pancreas CT scan can help to determine if there is an injury even if there aren't any obvious symptoms. While it can miss certain types of injuries, it is the best technique for determining pancreas injuries caused by blunt trauma.