Man with severe abdominal pain finds relief at UAMS

If a patient is suffering from a pancreatic cyst, they have the ability to choose a much less invasive procedure that often allows them to go home from the hospital the very same day. (Photo: UAMS)

If you went to a doctor in Arkansas and asked them to remove pancreatic pseudocysts (a collection of fluids on the pancreas), it would require a surgical procedure that often resulted in a 7-day stay in the hospital.

However, now at UAMS, patients have the ability to go home much sooner.

According to UAMS, Charles Goins, 69, of Warren said if he had to go through surgery, he doesn't think he would have survived.

Goins began feeling pain in his abdomen in December 2016. From that point on, he was in and out of hospitals nine times this year, losing 60 pounds in six months.

"I basically stayed in a recliner on the couch," Goins said. "I couldn't sleep at night. I had no appetite. The pain was constant."

Eventually, Goins was referred to UAMS, where he met Benjamin Tharian, M.D., an Interventional gastroenterologist.

“He had chronic pancreatitis, a lot of scar tissue in the pancreas,” Tharian said. “When he came to us in May, he had a big cyst. There was fluids that had leaked out of the pancreas and had formed a big collection and became infected.”

Tharian says many pancreatic pseudocysts go away on their own, but doctors are now increasingly using a non-invasive procedure known as an endoscopic-ultrasound-guided cystogastrostomy.

“We go in with a camera where we can see the cyst. Then we stick a needle into the cyst through the stomach,” Tharian said. “We burn through it, make a hole in the stomach, and place a stent across …so that the fluid can drain out.”

Afterwards, the fluid is naturally eliminated from the body.

The procedure itself takes less than half an hour, allowing many patients to go home the same day or the following day.

“The recovery was so easy and quick the way they did it here at UAMS,” Goins said. “I had no problems.”

Goins says he is now able to get back to the activities he loves to do, such as hunting and fishing.

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