Mercy’s Dr. Amit Raina, Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease, Discusses Diagnosis and Treatment of Pancreatitis

August 22, 2017
The Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Pancreatitis can happen to anyone. It's an inflammation of the pancreas gland and can occur suddenly or chronically over years. The disease's symptoms can include a change in appetite, weight loss, pain, nausea and dark urine.

Doctors said it's important to pay attention to your body.

An image changed everything for Judy Gruel. Gruel was diagnosed with pancreatitis, and ended up seeing Amit Raina, M.D., CNSC, Director of The Center for Comprehensive Pancreatic Care, part of The Melissa L. Posner Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy in Baltimore, MD.

Some cases of pancreatitis can be mild and patients recover quickly.

"You might have patients who have a very mild disease and essentially, if even they stay home, they will get better on their own. On the other end of the spectrum is a group of patients who need our help and if you don't help them, (they) might die," Dr. Raina said.

Dr. Raina was concerned about the cyst he saw in Gruel's pancreas from a CT scan.

"Next to the cyst, I saw this area that was abnormal looking," he said.

An endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy confirmed she had pancreatic cancer. Before she ever saw Dr. Raina, other doctors suggested waiting until August to do more testing.

"Something told me not to give up," Gruel said.

The tests made all the difference. In May, the cancer was removed. That fear she used to feel is replaced with something else.

"I'm amazed the cancer didn't spread. Pancreatic cancer cells are very aggressive. I'm amazed and grateful that it didn't spread but, I'm also more grateful to all the doctors that didn't have me wait until August, because by the end of August, I know I wouldn't be in this condition," Gruel said.

View Mercy’s Dr. Amit Raina’s interview regarding pancreatitis.


Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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