Pancreatic Cystic Lesions Specialist

Southern California Multi-Specialty Center

Vascular Surgeons & Pancreatic and Robotic Surgeons located in Porter Ranch, CA & Sherman Oaks, CA

Pancreatic cystic lesions often cause few symptoms, yet they can progress to become invasive pancreatic cancer. If you have pancreatic cysts that need surgical removal, contact Dr. Babak Eghbalieh at the Southern California Hepatobiliary Pancreatic & Robotic Surgery Institute. He’s an expert in using minimally-invasive robotic surgery to remove pancreatic cysts. Dr. Eghbalieh sees patients throughout the Southern California area, with offices in Valencia, Porter Ranch, and Sherman Oaks, California, and a new office opening in Los Angeles in the near future.

Pancreatic Cystic Lesions Q & A

What are pancreatic cystic lesions?

A pancreatic cystic lesion is a tumor in the pancreas that’s filled with fluid. There are several types of pancreatic cysts:

Mucinous cystadenoma: This type of pancreatic cystic tumor accounts for about half of all cases. They’re usually benign (not cancerous), but can progress to become malignant if they’re left untreated. They commonly occur in women with a median age of 54 years.

Serous cystadenoma: The second most common pancreatic cystic tumor, they’re almost always benign and seldom become cancerous.

Mucinous ductal ectasia: This pancreatic cyst becomes cancerous, then the cancer cells produce thick mucus that blocks the pancreatic duct and causes recurrent bouts of pancreatitis. It’s often found in older men around the age of 66 years.

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cystic lesions?

Many people don’t have symptoms from cysts, but if you do, you’re likely to experience:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ongoing abdominal pain that sometimes radiates to your back
  • A mass or lump you can feel in your upper abdomen, although rare
  • IPMN (Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm): A type of tumor that grows within the pancreatic ducts and is characterized by the production of thick fluid by the tumor cells. There are three types:
    • Main duct
    • Bran duct
    • Mixed types

The cause of pancreatic cysts is usually not determined. They may develop after an abdominal injury or following pancreatitis. Having gallstones and a history of alcohol abuse may also increase your risk for developing pancreatic cysts.

How does Dr. Eghbalieh remove pancreatic cystic lesions?

Mucinous cystadenomas are always surgically removed before they spread and become invasive pancreatic cancer. Mucinous ductal ectasia is a slow-growing tumor, but since it can also become invasive pancreatic cancer, surgical removal is often recommended.

Dr. Eghbalieh may remove pancreatic cysts using laparoscopic surgery, but he has extensive experience using robotic surgery and knows it achieves better results. Both types of surgery are minimally invasive, so they only need a few small incisions, and recovery time is shortened. However, robotic surgery has distinct advantages over the laparoscopic technique.

Robot-assisted surgery allows Dr. Eghbalieh to operate in the abdomen and within small organs with greater precision and better visualization compared to standard laparoscopic surgery. The thin, yet highly mobile, robotic arms mimic Dr. Eghbalieh’s hands, so he can remove cysts and then repair delicate tissues with extreme precision.

If you’ve been diagnosed with pancreatic cystic lesions and would like to learn about the benefit of robot-assisted surgery, contact Dr. Eghbalieh at Southern California Hepatobiliary Pancreatic & Robotic Surgery Institute.

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Major Insurance Providers Accepted

Dr. Eghbalieh accepts many of the largest Insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the accepted plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Anthem Blue Cross of California
Blue Shield of California
Brand New Day
Community Family Care Medical Group IPA
Facey Medical Group
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Employee Benefit Plan
Imperial Health Holdings
Lakeside Medical Group
Regal Medical Group