The Sure Cure for Diabetes – Pancreas Transplantation

Pancreas Transplantation is a surgical procedure,  in which the whole pancreas from the deceased donor is harvested. Then it is  replaced to the recipient whose pancreas is no longer functions properly

The pancreas is an organ that lies in the back of the lower part of your stomach. One of its essential functions is to make insulin, a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) into your cells.

If the pancreas does not make adequate insulin, blood sugar levels can shoot to unhealthy levels, resulting in type 1 diabetes.

Most pancreas transplants are performed to treat type 1 diabetes. A pancreas transplant provides a viable cure for this condition. Pancreas transplants involve high risks and side effects hence it is significantly reserved for extreme diabetes complications.

In some cases, pancreas transplants may also treat type 2 diabetes. Rarely, pancreas transplants may also be used in the therapy of pancreatic, bile duct or cancers.

A pancreas transplant is often performed in conjunction with a kidney transplant. This will be done for the people whose kidneys have been damaged by diabetes.

Why it is done

A pancreas transplant can restore normal insulin production and enhance blood sugar management in people with diabetes, however, it’s not a general treatment. Anti-rejection medicines may cause serious complications after a pancreas transplant

For people with any of the following, a pancreas transplant can be worth considering:

  • Type 1 diabetes that cannot be controlled with standard treatment
  • Frequent insulin reactions
  • Consistently poor blood sugar control
  • Severe kidney damage
  • Type 2 diabetes related to both low insulin resistance and low insulin production


A pancreas transplant may not be a choice for type-2 diabetes patients, because for type-2 diabetes patients they may produce the normal level of Insulin but the insulin produced may not be utilized properly as the body becomes resistant to insulin.

But for the patient with low insulin production and low resistance, the pancreas transplant is a genuine option.  About 10 percent of all pancreas transplants are performed in people with type 2 diabetes.

There are different types of pancreas transplants, including:

Pancreas transplant alone.

Pancreas transplant alone can be done for the candidates who have no kidney disease and requires the only pancreas for their survival.A pancreas transplant surgical treatment involves only a pancreas transplant besides other surgeries.

Combined kidney-pancreas transplant.

For people with diabetes and at the risk of severe kidney damage, Kidney-Pancreas transplant could be a better option. More than two-thirds of pancreas transplants are executed simultaneously with a kidney transplant.

The purpose of this approach is to provide you a healthy kidney and pancreas that are not likely to contribute to diabetes-related kidney damage in the future.

Pancreas-after-kidney transplant.

When the patient is waiting for both Kidney and pancreas and if the kidney is matching and available immediately to the recipient, a Kidney transplant is also recommended first before the pancreas.

After you get better from kidney transplant surgery, you may receive the pancreas transplant once a donor pancreas becomes available.

Insulin-producing cells (islet cells) are taken from the deceased donor and then it is injected into the bloodstream of the recipients during the Pancreatic islet cell transplant. The Insulin-producing cells reach the liver and pancreas through the bloodstream and grow to produce more amount of Insulin.

Although it’s possible for a living donor to donate phase of a pancreas, almost all pancreas transplants involve a deceased-donor pancreas.

  • Risks
  • Complications of the procedure
  • Pancreas transplant surgical procedure includes a risk of sizable complications, including:
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Excess sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia) or other metabolic problems
  • Urinary complications, including leaking or urinary tract infections
  • Failure of the donated pancreas
  • Rejection of the donated pancreas

Anti-rejection medication side effects

After a pancreas transplant, you may take medicines for the rest of your life to help prevent your body from rejecting the donor pancreas. These anti-rejection medications can cause a range of side effects, including:

  • Bone thinning (osteoporosis)
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Puffiness
  • Weight gain
  • Swollen gums
  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth or loss

To accept the donor’s organ from rejection, Anti-rejection drugs are used by suppressing the immune system of the recipient, Hence the recipient’s body defense system becomes compromised and prone to infections.

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