Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas which may be either acute or chronic. There are many causes of acute pancreatitis however the most common causes in our community are gallstone disease and alcohol. Acute pancreatitis is often rapidly self limiting with significant improvement over a few days. Acute pancreatitis, however, can be a life threatening illness and require admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with a prolonged hospital stay. The management of pancreatitis is based on supportive care until the inflammation in the pancreas settles down. Your doctor will try to determine the cause of the pancreatitis and will most likely suggest having your gallbladder removed if gallstones seem to be the cause. Avoidance of alcohol is important if this has been the triggering factor.