A slightly swollen pancreas could mean a couple of things. It sounds like you or someone you know was told about a slightly swollen pancreas based on a radiology study either a CT scan or an MRI. You should ask specifically if there was inflammation around your pancreas or if the pancreas looked enlarged. A condition called pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas that usually causes pain in the middle of the abdomen, nausea and vomiting. Because strong digestive enzymes are produced in the pancreas, inflammation of that organ can cause a lot of pain.
Common causes of acute pancreatitis include gallstones that block a tube draining the pancreas, and alcohol use. Acute pancreatitis usually requires hospitalization and careful monitoring. If a gallstone is involved, a procedure can remove the stone. Later, surgery to remove the gallbladder is recommended. Another reason for swelling in and around the pancreas is chronic pancreatitis, a low-grade, persistent inflammation that is not always painful.
If an enlarged pancreas is seen without any symptoms of pancreatitis, it is important to rule out other conditions that enlarge the pancreas, including a cyst or tumor. This is why it is important to clarify what was meant by a "swollen pancreas."