UCLA Campus    |   UCLA Health    |   School of Medicine Translate:
UCLA Health It Begins With U

UCLA Center for Pancreatic Diseases

Print
Email
Share

Pancreas Diseases

About Pancreatic Disease

Overview

Illustration: pancreas and nearby organs.
Illustration: pancreas and nearby organs.
Illustration: the pancreas, common bile duct, and small intestine.
Illustration: the pancreas, common bile duct, and small intestine.
The pancreas is a gland that is located deep in the abdomen between the stomach and the spine. The pancreas is about 6 inches long and extends from the right to the left side of the abdomen.

The pancreas is divided into the head, body, and tail regions. The head of the pancreas is located on the right side of the abdomen, is the largest part of the organ, and is nestled in the duodenum. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine and extends immediately from the stomach.

The body of the pancreas extends across the spine and is in the midline of the abdomen. The tail of the pancreas is located on the left side of the abdomen and is adjacent to the spleen.

The pancreas makes insulin as well as other hormones. These hormones enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. They help the body use or store the energy that comes from food. In addition, the pancreas also makes digestive enzymes that are secreted into the intestine to help digest food.

There are a number of pancreatic diseases that can develop. These include pancreatic cancer, pancreatic endocrine tumors, pancreatic cysts, acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis and autoimmune pancreatitis. In addition to pancreatic disease the Center also specializes in diseases that develop in the bile ducts, gallbladder, and duodenum.

The same techniques (e.g. surgeries, endoscopy, etc.) that are used to treat pancreatic diseases are also used to treat diseases that are located in these structures. These diseases include bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma), bile duct cysts, gallbladder cancer, duodenal cancer, and duodenal polyps.

We also see patients who have experienced bile duct injuries.

UCLA Rated One of the Top Hospitals in the Nation