The pancreas is a small organ connected to the stomach. It has two vital roles: producing insulin and other hormones as well as secreting digestive enzymes.
Conditions such as type 1 diabetes (when the body does not produce insulin at all) or pancreatitis (infection of the pancreas) can cause the pancreas to fail. This can cause serious illness.
A pancreas transplant is a not a common mode of treatment, but may be considered if:
- Type 1 diabetes cannot be well controlled with standard treatment
- There is frequent insulin reactions (diabetic shock)
- Blood sugar control is poor
- There is severe kidney damage
The pancreas transplant
A pancreas transplant places a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor into the patient. This donated pancreas will take over the function of the failed pancreas and help produce the hormones and enzymes essential for health. A pancreas transplant is often done at the same time as a kidney transplant. A donor pancreas comes from a deceased donor retrieved from organ donors under HOTA.
What to expect during your transplant journey.