Acute pancreatitis is a disease with a significant morbidity and mortality. It has been reported as the principal diagnosis in 2% of hospital admissions with abdominal pain in the UK. The incidence is in the range of 200 to 300 cases per million population per year, but it is probably increasing. The overall mortality rate is 10 to 12%. The management of the disease and its complications requires close co-operation between surgeon, radiologist and gastroenterologist. There have been a number of improvements in the management of acute pancreatitis in the last decade.