Gallbladder and pancreatic disease in children is increasingly common. Gallstones (both cholesterol and pigmented) form in the gallbladder and can lead to abdominal pain, infection, jaundice, and pancreatitis.  Laparascopic cholecystectomy is the most common treatment for patients with this disorder, but endoscopic treatment (ERCP) can treat certain complications of gallstones.

Pancreatitis is a spectrum of problems caused by inflammation of the pancreas, the gland responsible for the digestion of food and the regulatory site of several hormones. The diagnosis is made based on a combination of findings including abdominal pain, abnormal pancreatic enzymes (amylase and/or lipase) and findings on ultrasound, CT or MRI. The main causes of pancreatitis include: gallstones, medications, toxins, anatomic obstruction (blockage) or congenital (eg. pancreas divisum), and other metabolic disorders. There are also hereditary or genetic reasons for pancreatitis. While most patients only experience a single episode of pancreatitis, some patients have recurrent episodes which can lead to chronic pancreatitis.

Cancer or tumors of the gallbladder, bile duct and pancreas are rare, but require a specialized approach. We offer state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in combination with Texas Children’s Cancer Center.