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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Know More About Pancreatic Transplantation!

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Dr. M K GuptaGeneral Surgeon • 48 Years Exp.MBBS, MS- General Surgery
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A pancreatic transplantation or pancreas transplantation refers to the surgical procedure, which involves replacing a dysfunctional pancreas with a healthy one.  The donor of the pancreas is usually a deceased person. Pancreas is an important organ of the body as it produces several important hormones, which play a significant role of regulating our body cycles. Pancreas transplantation is usually performed for the treatment of type 1 diabetes which is linked to the inability of the pancreas to produce the insulin hormone.

A pancreatic transplant is considered as one of the potential cures for type 1 diabetes. However it is not considered to be a standard treatment due to complications, such as:

  1. Rejection of graft by the recipient body or similar complications
  2. The medications which are given to prevent the rejection can have serious side effects too
  3. Certain complications like blood clots or infections can occur following the procedure
  4. Failure to control the blood sugar levels and rejection of the graft or complete pancreatic failure are Common complications that occur after a pancreas transplant.

These are the primary reasons why pancreas transplant is often considered to be one of the last measures of treating diabetes. Nevertheless, there are certain conditions where a pancreas transplant is worth considering. Some of the conditions include diabetes which cannot be controlled with the usual treatment procedure, chronic poor blood sugar control, insulin reactions which turns chronic or a serious kidney disease.

Certain medications are also prescribed for anti rejection purposes. These medications need to be taken after the operation for the rest of your life to prevent rejection of the donor graft. These medications can have a few adverse side effects. Some of the side effects include hypertension, thinning of your bones, unwanted weight gain and a rise in your cholesterol levels. Swollen gums or acne are also observed in several cases.   

Often a pancreas transplant is carried out along with a kidney transplant, especially if you have a serious kidney condition. It helps to provide a healthy kidney and a pancreas and also reduces a risk of kidney damage caused due to diabetes later in the future. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!