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Pancreatic MRI


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#1 LilyWillow

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:35 AM

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Is a pancreatic MRI really necessary?
 
My gastro doc decided, on the fly... during a phone conversation while telling me all my tests were normal, that she could do a pancreatic mri.
 
This came as a result of my asking if she did a pancreatic enzyme test. Yes she did and it was negative. I asked this question because I have yellow malabsorbtion and stomach pain is my main discomfort. When I have a bad full on attack I also get back pain like I have a rod through my mid section. I don't know if this is me hunched over because my stomach hurts, or anxiety which also comes at the same time. I do have a bad back. The anxiety is new to me and came as part of the infection package.
 
So today her office gal calls and tells me I have to get blood work to make sure my kidneys are healthy enough for the test and pick up a prep kit of instructions and stuff to drink....
 
okay at this point I feel do I really need this test? The colonosopy and endoscopy caused me to have a terrible attack following the test.
I don't want to do anything to my body that might cause any other problems.
 
Is there anyone here who has had pancreatic problems who can advise me? Do symptoms come and go and what are they.
 
risk vs benefit?
 
I really feel that if I do this test it will show that my pancreas is normal.
 
I called back the office and told them I want to hold off on the test.


#2 m-p{3}

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:00 PM

If your MD consider the test as necessary, I wouldn't object to it. If you're worried about the test, or aren't sure why the test is necessary, discuss with your MD on the pertinence of the test and get him/her to explain why he/she thinks it might be necessary for the diagnostic.

 

Maybe they'll find something or maybe they won't. But at least you'll know what's going on. Until then, don't try to worry too much over something you can't control. Your MD doing his/her best to get you back in shape. :)


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#3 Kathleen M.

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 01:02 PM

But it can be hard to know what the doctor thinks is necessary for medical reasons, legal reasons--what they are doing because they are afraid of getting sued and causing harm from doing a test usually gets fewer lawsuits than causing harm from not doing a test, or financial reasons--how much they really need to pay off the loan on the machine they bought/how much they really need to upcode their fees to keep the door open this month.  (and it is hard to make decisions only on medical reasons when it is a reasonable fear about the other things).

 

I know we think of testing as harmless, but it isn't always harmless.  There may be direct risks from the test proceedure, and there may be risks from the result of the test.  Everyone has some little bit of something abnormal.  Most of the abnormal things are harmless and will never cause you a lick of trouble, ever.  But once you see the shadow, the spot, the calcification, the whatever it is hard to just leave it alone and the biopsies or added medications, treatments, surgeries may cause enduring problems you  never had to face.

 

So the question generally is how much benefit are you likely to get vs how much risk you will take from each test.  It is like a condition we are 99% sure that I have.  The symptoms all match, the lifestyle modifcations and relatively harmless treatments work so we go with it.  Taking a scalpel to a muscle (with the scaring and the pain and the risk of what they use to make me tolerate the procedure--and I'm allergic to some of the numbing agents and you never know if this time will be more than just a bit of a rash) just isn't worth it.  So we decided to just go with it rather than decide that more tests is always in every case better than fewer.

 

So it is worth a discussion with the doctor.  What indicates you need the test, will your treatment change in anyway from the result of the test, what are the risks, both population and individual.  Then you can make a good choice as to if you need it, and if now is the best time or do you do it only after X number of months of symptoms or if they get worse, etc.


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