The first pancreatitis Support Group has been held at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage happens when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine and begin attacking the pancreas. There are two forms of pancreatitis: acute and chronic.
Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation that lasts for a short time. It may range from mild discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. Most people with acute pancreatitis recover completely after getting the right treatment.
Chronic pancreatitis is long-lasting inflammation of the pancreas. It most often happens after an episode of acute pancreatitis.
The group was established by the Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Unit in Carlisle to offer support to people with pancreatitis, and their families, by providing easier access to expert medical staff, introduce patients to each other, and access advice on how to manage their condition.
This was the first in a series of events held at the James George Education Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary with the group meeting every three months.
The group is led by Professor Ruben Canelo, HPB surgeon, at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and supported by fellow surgeons at the Trust.
Professor Canelo said: “It is a great opportunity to get everyone together to discuss their condition, not only with doctors but with each other so we can all learn together and improve their treatment.
“We are there to talk through any clinical questions or concerns they may have and answer questions they might not have thought about at the time of their consultation.
“The opportunity to meet other people who have been through the same experience is also invaluable, not just for themselves but also their families.”