Pediatric Pancreatic Cysts

Pediatric Pancreatic Cysts



The pancreas is an organ that produces hormones and helps the digestive system. Cysts - small saclike lumps - in the pancreas are rare in children.

Expanded Overview

It used to be that most children who had pancreatic cysts had to have surgery. Now, doctors can look at these cysts without having to operate because technology has improved (including CT scans and MRIs that take detailed images of the body). This means that most children do not need surgery if the cyst is not causing any problems.


Another type of relatively rare bumps or lesions in the pancreas is so-called pseudocysts. Pseudocysts look like "real" cysts but they are different and sometimes they can cause problems. These pseudocysts are usually filled with fluid that leaks from the pancreas, and they usually occur after an injury or infection.


Often pseudocysts go away by themselves. If they don't go away after a few weeks, or if they get bigger, cause pain or other problems, they should be removed. When a pseudocyst doesn't heal or keeps coming back, surgeons use minimally invasive surgery (making small incisions) to remove them. Children who have cysts or pseudocysts of the pancreas usually do very well and recover completely.


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