Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down your symptoms, including when they started and how they may have changed or worsened over time.
- Write down key personal information, including a history of injury to your abdomen.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Some basic questions include:
- What is the most likely cause of my condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- If I need surgery, what will my recovery be like?
- How will my diet and lifestyle change after I have surgery?
- What follow-up care will I need?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared in advance, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions about your symptoms, such as:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Where do you feel your symptoms the most?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you ever had pancreatitis?
- How many alcoholic drinks do you consume daily?
- Do you have gallstones?
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed July 11, 2012.
- Samuelson AL, et al. Endoscopic management of pancreatic pseudocysts. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 2012;41:47.
- Megibow AJ, et al. The incidental pancreatic cyst. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 2011;49:349.
- Dewhurst CE, et al. Cystic tumors of the pancreas: Imaging and diagnosis. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 2012;59:467.
- Khan A, et al. Cystic lesions of the pancreas. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2011;196:W668.
- Habashi S, et al. Pancreatic pseudocyst. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2009;15:38.
- AskMayoExpert. How common are pancreatic lesions? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. When should patients with pancreatic cystic lesions be referred for subspecialty evaluation? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- AskMayoExpert. When are patients with mucinous cystic neoplasms considered for operative or interventional procedures? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.