The pancreas is a large gland in the abdomen that is responsible for producing digestive enzymes. Pancreatitis occurs when these digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine, resulting in severe inflammation and damage to the pancreas and surrounding tissues.

Patients with acute pancreatitis will be admitted for investigation and treatment at Mater Redland or Sunnybank Private hospital. Patients with acute gallstone pancreatitis may require a laparoscopic cholecystectomy with an intraoperative cholangiogram (advanced imaging of the bile duct), usually on the same hospital admission.

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