The pancreas is a small gland located behind the stomach that assists in the processing of food. It produces enzymes that help break down fat and protein in food, and it produces the hormones insulin and glucagon, which help regulate blood sugar.
People who suffer from Type I Diabetes are dependent on insulin to manage their disease because their own pancreas does not produce it. Often, they can suffer from severe complications due to their disease. By transplanting a healthy insulin-producing pancreas into their bodies, they can often stop taking insulin and avoid the complications that come from Type I Diabetes. There are several benefits of pancreas transplantation:
- Elimination of severe blood sugar fluctuations
- Improved quality of life
- Normal diet
- Increased activity level
In addition, diabetic complications such as cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, and eye disease may be prevented or improved. Depending on individual patient circumstances, the pancreas can be transplanted alone, as a simultaneous pancreas/kidney transplant (SPK), or pancreas after kidney transplant (PAK). Visit our kidney transplant website to learn more about kidney transplant.
This site is designed for adult pancreas transplant patients and describes who is eligible for transplant, explains the entire transplant process from beginning to end, provides a list of helpful resources, and explains what you can expect when you come to our Transplant Center.
© 2018 Intermountain Healthcare. All rights reserved. The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.