Man survives acute pancreatitis scare, doctors warn New Yorkers about the disease

Dr. Braha says the main sign of pancreatitis is severe pain in the abdomen that radiates to the back or shoulder, especially after a meal and lasts for 30 minutes or more.

News 12 Staff

Oct 7, 2022, 11:52 PM

Updated 618 days ago

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On the last day of vacationing with his wife in South Carolina, Steve Nuzzo knew something was wrong – but didn’t think anything about it. He then spent 16 days in Mount Sinai Brooklyn hospital.  
Nuzzo noticed some mild signs such as heartburn and indigestion. Two days later, the sharp pains in his chest and back became unbearable.  
“Honestly, I thought I was gonna die there,” said Steve. “The last thing I remember was being wheeled out to the ambulance…that's about it after that.”  
He was eventually diagnosed with severe pancreatitis.
“Pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed,” said Jack Braha, chief of gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Brooklyn and the doctor who helped take care of Steve Nuzzo. “It's a terrible pain that patients develop, like a bomb went off in their abdomens.” 
Pancreatitis is often caused by gallstones that form in the gallbladder or heavy drinking, but Steve had his gallbladder removed four decades ago and is not a heavy drinker.  
Those who have had their gall bladder removed can still form stones in the tube that drains their liver and get pancreatitis, according to Dr. Braha. People with diabetes and cystic fibrosis are also at higher risk of pancreatitis.  
Dr. Braha says the main sign of pancreatitis is severe pain in the abdomen that radiates to the back or shoulder, especially after a meal and lasts for 30 minutes or more.


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