Pediatric Pancreatitis, Chronic

University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is home to one of largest programs in the world to treat children with chronic pancreatitis. M Health Fairview surgeons were the first to perform the pancreatectomy and islet auto-transplant procedure (TP-IAT) on an adult in 1977.

Specialties that diagnose or treat this condition:

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Your child’s pancreas is a long, flat gland that produces enzymes for digestion and hormones to help regulate the way your child’s body processes glucose. Normally, inactivated pancreatic enzymes become activated in the small intestine.

When your child has pancreatitis, these enzymes become activated while they are still in the pancreas, causing irritation and inflammation. When children have recurring episodes of pancreatitis this may be chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis in children is rare and may begin at any age. We know many of the risk factors for chronic pancreatitis including genetic risk factors, abnormal pancreas anatomy, or metabolic disease. Mild cases of chronic pancreatitis may be treated with medical therapy, but severe cases can lead to chronic pain and loss of time in school.

Our Approach

University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital is home to one of largest programs in the world to treat children with chronic pancreatitis. M Health Fairview surgeons were the first to perform the pancreatectomy and islet auto-transplant procedure (TP-IAT) on an adult in 1977.

Our multidisciplinary team has achieved great outcomes with a comprehensive and experienced program that will reduce your child’s pain and improve his or her quality of life. During a TP-IAT, surgeons remove your child’s pancreas, specialists separate out the islet cells, and the surgeons inject the islets into your child’s liver to manage blood sugar levels. This process helps to prevent the onset of diabetes from the removal of the pancreas.

Our surgeons have performed more than 600 procedures, which is more than three times the number at any other medical center. Roughly 100 of these procedures were performed on children.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures

Pediatric Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Auto-transplant

If your child has acute recurrent or chronic pancreatitis and previous medical or endoscopic treatments have not relieved the pain, he or she may benefit from a total pancreatectomy and islet auto-transplant.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Nutrition Services
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Gallbladder Surgery
  • Pancreatic Enzyme Supplements

Call your preferred location to schedule an appointment or submit an online request.