- Pancreatitis: The pancreas becomes inflamed and damaged by its own digestive chemicals. Swelling and death of tissue of the pancreas can result. Although alcohol or gallstones can contribute, the cause of most pancreatitis is unknown.
- Pancreatic pseudocyst: After a bout of pancreatitis, a fluid-filled cavity called a pseudocyst can form. Pseudocysts may resolve spontaneously, or they may need surgical drainage.
- Islet cell tumor: The hormone-producing cells of the pancreas multiply abnormally, creating a benign or cancerous tumor. These tumors produce excess amounts of hormones and then release them into the blood. Gastrinomas, glucagonomas, and insulinomas are examples of islet cell tumors.
- Enlarged pancreas: An enlarged pancreas may mean nothing. You may simply have a pancreas that is larger than normal. Or, it can be because of an anatomic abnormality. But other causes of an enlarged pancreas may exist and require treatment.