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Pancreatic transplantation is a surgical procedure in which a healthy donor pancreas, usually from a brain dead donor, is implanted into a patient whose pancreas fails. This is usually a type I diabetic patient (as well as highly selected type 2 diabetics) whose pancreas fails to produce the required insulin. This is a specialized procedure and is performed by a pancreatic transplant surgeon.
Once the pancreas is removed from the donor it is kept viable by cooling it and preserving in ice cold preservative solution. It can be preserved only for a few hours after it is removed from the donor. In addition, the donor’s blood type must be compatible with the patient receiving the organ so that the body has a better chance of accepting the organ.
During a pancreatic transplant, the native pancreas is not removed during the operation. This is because it is still capable of making the essential digestive enzymes needed during the digestion of food. Instead, the donor pancreas is placed below the diseased pancreas and is attached to the patient’s blood vessels.
There are three types of pancreatic transplant options:
There is much to be gained from receiving a healthy pancreas, especially if you are suffering from extreme renal disease:
Here is a look at some of the possible risks and/or complications that may result from a pancreas transplant:
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