Though most pancreatic cysts are benign, the presence of them may increase one’s risk for developing cancer. These cysts include:
- Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm
- Mucinous cystic neoplasm
- Serous cystic tumors
If monitored closely by a dedicated team, changes in these pancreatic cysts can be diagnosed early and successfully treated.
UVA offers one of the first programs in the country dedicated to the detection and treatment of pancreatic cysts. The UVA Pancreatic Cyst Clinic is part of our Pancreatic Cancer Program, a comprehensive approach to preventing and curing this deadly disease through advanced screening procedures, clinical trials and cutting-edge surgical procedures.
Pancreatic cysts are usually asymptomatic and are typically found when a patient is getting an imaging scan of the abdomen for unrelated reasons. If a cyst is benign and not causing health issues, we will continue to monitor the situation through follow-up visits. For painful or potentially cancer-causing cysts, we may recommend surgery to remove the cyst.
Our diverse team includes surgeons, gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners and nurses, pathologists, radiologists and genetic counselors – all specially trained to ensure that patients receive the highest level of care. We also stay at the forefront of cancer research through regular participation in innovative clinical trials.
With each patient, we work closely with our team to:
- Assess risk factors
- Offer nutrition counseling
- Review imaging results
- Determine the need for additional diagnostics such as Endoscopic Ultrasound
- Perform a clinical examination
- Offer smoking cessation counseling
- Provide follow-up protocol advice based on evidence-based science
UVA offers the most advanced treatment options for diseases of the pancreas, including open and minimally invasive pancreatic surgical treatments. If surgery is required, UVA offers leading surgeons with the expertise necessary to care for patients with this condition.