Treatment depends on the size of the pseudocyst and whether it is causing symptoms. Many pseudocysts go away on their own. Those that remain for more than 6 weeks and are larger than 5 cm in diameter often need treatment.
Possible treatments include:
Drainage through the skin using a needle, usually guided by a CT scan
Endoscopic-assisted drainage using an endoscope (a tube containing a camera and a light that is passed down into the stomach)
Surgical drainage of the pseudocyst, which involves making a connection between the cyst and the stomach or small intestine. This may be done using a laparoscope.
The outcome is generally good with treatment. It is important to make sure that it is not a pancreatic cancer that starts in a cyst, which has a worse outcome.
Forsmark CE, Baillie J. AGA Institute Technical Review on acute pancreatitis. Gastroenterology. 2007;132:2022-2044.
Todd Eisner, MD, Private practice specializing in Gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL. Affiliate Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.