The majority of individuals born with pancreas divisum experience no symptoms throughout life, will remain undiagnosed and will not require treatment. A small number of patients with pancreas divisum will experience repeated episodes of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause severe abdominal pain and more severe complications. Some patients with pancreas divisum may develop chronic abdominal pain without pancreatitis.
Doctors are not certain how pancreas divisum causes abdominal pain and pancreatitis. One theory is that the minor papilla is too narrow to adequately drain the digestive juices in the dorsal duct. The backup of the digestive juices elevates the pressure in the minor duct that causes abdominal pain and pancreatitis.
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