Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, the large gland behind the stomach and close to the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes enzymes that join with bile-a liquid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder-to digest food.
Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Either form is serious and can lead to complications. In severe cases, bleeding, infection and permanent tissue damage may occur.
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