Pancreas is a small organ that is located in the lower part of the stomach. It lies just behind the abdomen. It functions by producing the insulin hormone which is responsible for regulating blood sugar level in the body and breaking down food into glucagon which is stored in the body. This glucagon is converted into glucose which is used by the body for energy and other purposes. Therefore, pancreatic transplant is done in patients with a malfunctioning pancreas.
Why is pancreatic transplant required?
Patients suffering from type I diabetes usually undergo a pancreatic transplant. Type I diabetes is characterized by the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin, thereby leading to low blood sugar level. This type of diabetes occurs due to the malfunction of pancreatic beta cells whose primary role is to produce insulin. These beta cells make up around 65 to 80 percent of the cells found in the pancreatic islets. They typically malfunction when the body's immune system begins to attack and destroy the pancreatic beta cells. Therefore, type I diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. Patients with type I diabetes require insulin injections that might cause severe reactions. People dependent on insulin are prone to the development of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy.
People with type II diabetes generally do not need pancreatic transplant because this type of diabetes occurs due to low production of insulin or lack of insulin resistance. Here is a list of the probable reasons why pancreatic transplant is required:
A pancreatic transplant can be of three types. They are:
A pancreatic transplant is a serious procedure that requires a lot of deliberations and consultations with your doctor and should only be opted for when the benefits outweigh the side effects from the anti-rejection medications.