PANCREAS TRANSPLANT, DIABETES
Your pancreas is an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. One of its main functions is to make insulin, a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) into your cells. Type 1 diabetes results when your pancreas can’t make enough insulin, causing your blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels.
Most pancreas transplants are performed on people with type 1 diabetes who have kidney failure. A pancreas transplant can be carried out in three ways. In a simultaneous pancreas–kidney transplant (SPK) – both the pancreas and kidneys are transplanted. This is the most common type, accounting for nine out of 10 transplants.In a pancreas-after-kidney transplant, a person first receives a kidney transplant from a living donor. This is then followed by a pancreas transplant from a recently deceased donor. In a pancreas-alone transplant – only the pancreas is transplanted. This is a treatment for patients with very poorly controlled type 1 diabetes who have hypoglycaemic attacks without warning, and which may threaten their life.
The side effects of a pancreas transplant can be significant, so a pancreas transplant is typically reserved for those who have serious diabetes complications.
A pancreas transplant is often done in conjunction with a kidney transplant.
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