Pancreas Care

Treating the Whole Patient to Achieve Best Possible Outcomes

Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation (TPIAT)

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Pancreas Care at Nationwide Children's

Accredited as an Academic and Clinical Center of Excellence by the National Pancreas Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s patient-centered approach to care for infants, children and teens suffering from pancreas diseases offers a comprehensive approach to care. We have assembled a multidisciplinary team to address the complex and interconnected conditions and circumstances that contribute to the health of our patients, so that our patients can achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life.

US News Badge Gastroenterology

Nationwide Children's Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Gastroenterology and GI Surgery.

About Pancreas Care at Nationwide Children's 

Nationwide Children’s provides specialized, multidisciplinary care for infants, children and young adults who suffer from pancreatic problems. Our multidisciplinary team includes gastroenterologists, surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, social workers, specialists in treating pain, psychologists and other medical professionals with advanced expertise in pancreatitis and related conditions.

Nationwide Children’s Pancreas and Liver Care Center offers a complex surgical procedure known as TPIAT, or total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation. This is a life-changing surgical treatment option for children with debilitating pain and impaired quality of life from acute recurrent or chronic pancreatitis. Nationwide Children’s is one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the United States with expertise in TPIAT.

When choosing a hospital for the care and treatment of your child, Nationwide Children’s offers the full spectrum of care, from nutritional support to complex gastrointestinal reconstruction surgery. All of these have one goal in mind: achieving the best possible outcome for your child.

Recognized for Excellence in Pancreas Care

National Pancreas Foundation LogoNationwide Children’s is accredited by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) as an NPF Academic and Clinical Center of Excellence – designations awarded to only a few children’s hospitals in the United States. NPF Center Clinical accreditation is only awarded to programs with specialists dedicated to treating pancreatic disease within a multidisciplinary treatment team. The additional Academic accreditation is awarded only to programs that substantially contribute to research science in pediatric pancreatic diseases. The NPF designations recognize our emphasis on multidisciplinary care, patient-oriented services and advancement of the field of pediatric pancreatology. We are constantly working to innovate and drive care improvement. We also lead research to help improve awareness and understanding of pancreatic conditions.

INSPPIRE

Nationwide Children’s is also a select participant of INSPPIRE (INternational Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In search for a cuRE), a prestigious research consortium dedicated to pediatric pancreatitis, with only 25 participating sites worldwide. The INSPPIRE group was formed to improve diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of pediatric pancreatitis.

Pancreatic Disorders We Treat

  • Acute, acute recurrent and chronic pancreatitis
  • Anomalous pancreaticobiliary junction
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis
  • Congenital abnormalities (annular pancreas, pancreas divisum)
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Pancreatic ascites
  • Pancreatic cysts and pseudocysts
  • Pancreatic disrupted duct
  • Pancreatic duct and bile duct diseases
  • Pancreatic lymphatic malformations
  • Pancreatic trauma
  • Pancreatic tumors

Learn More About Conditions We Treat

Our Multidisciplinary Pancreas Care Team

The pancreas care specialists at Nationwide Children’s include our expert team of physicians, surgeons and other medical professionals with in-depth knowledge and experience in pancreatitis and related conditions. 

Each specialty plays a unique and important role on the care team for your child. Working together as a team, we ensure treatment accounts for all facets of the disease and life circumstances encountered by your child. Our professionals are aware of the challenges that pancreatitis can create for families and children. We help guide our patients and their families through the many aspects of their care.

Our dedicated care team includes members from:

Meet Our Team

Diagnosing Pancreatic Disease

When a child has symptoms of a pancreas problem, we may perform any of the following tests to make a diagnosis:

  • Blood and stool tests
  • CT scan (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the abdomen
  • Endoscopic pancreatic function test
  • Special MRI of the pancreas and biliary tree (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, MRCP)
  • Abdominal ultrasound (sonogram) of the abdomen
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a specialized endoscopic procedure performed by a gastroenterologist

Conditions We Treat

We treat the full range of pancreas conditions at Nationwide Children’s, from the most basic pancreatitis to the most complex conditions requiring pancreatic operations.

Learn More About These Conditions

Treatment and Services

Nationwide Children’s offers the full range of therapies for children with pancreas conditions. Treating pancreatitis involves maintaining good nutrition during periods when it is difficult to eat, relieving pain, draining or replacing fluids and keeping enzymes in balance. Depending on your child’s diagnosis, it may also involve removing stones, opening blockages or performing a more advanced procedure.

After evaluation by our team and a confirmed diagnosis, we will work with your family to design a care plan that offers your child the best chance at healing, comfort and a good quality of life. Options are tailored to your child and their condition.

Learn More About Our Services

Pain Management

Pancreatitis can be a very painful condition, making effective pain management a critical part of your child’s overall care plan. Repeated episodes of inflammation may cause irreversible damage, causing pain relief options to be less effective over time. This can make expert pain care even more important to your child’s wellbeing. Focusing on a multimodal pain management approach, our team consists of physicians with dedicated pain management training, psychologists, dietitians and physical therapists to address all aspects of pain management. 

No matter your child’s condition, the pancreas care team will work to create a comprehensive plan to keep your child as comfortable as possible. 

Learn More About Pain Management

Pancreas Center Resources

Knowing that you are not alone in your struggle can be comforting, and learning how other families cope with pancreatitis can open up ideas and suggestions. Learn more about pediatric pancreatitis on our blog, or visit our hospital Facebook page to connect with other families.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our experts have compiled a list of the most common questions about pancreas care. Our team would be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

View Our FAQs

More Resources

You can also learn more about your child’s condition, research studies and other support services at these websites:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

NIDDK conducts and supports research on many of the most common, costly, and chronic conditions to improve health.

GI Kids (NASPGHAN)

Children's Digestive Health Information for Kids and Parents

The National Pancreas Foundation

The National Pancreas Foundation provides an array of information for patients, caregivers and health care providers.

Animated Pancreas Patient

National Pancreas Foundation’s Animated Patient’s Guide™ to Diseases of the Pancreas.

INSPPIRE (INternational Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In search for a cuRE)

The nation’s largest research consortium dedicated to pediatric pancreatitis.

CAPER (Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research)

Promoting and encouraging the advancement of knowledge and research for pancreatic diseases by facilitating multi-center studies.