Pancreatic Transplant – An Introduction to Islet Cell Transplant

A pancreatic transplant, as the name suggests, is a surgical procedure that involves the pancreas, which is a major organ in the human framework that is singlehandedly responsible for a clear and healthy digestive system. Approximately as big as a human palm, it is positioned towards the latter part of the lower abdomen.

Pancreatic Transplant Basics – The Functions of the Pancreas

The main function of the pancreas lies in producing insulin along with selected enzymes, which in turn aids the process of disintegration and digestion of our food intakes. It comprises of a huge number of cells including beta cells, all of which go on to produce good quantities of insulin.

Pancreatic Transplant

During a pancreatic transplant, islet cells from a donor’s pancreas are moved to the recipient’s system

Insulin and the Need for a Pancreatic Transplant

Insulin helps in using the body glucose for energy and diabetes is the common consequence when this creation of sufficient glucose does not come through, as a result of increasing levels of glucose in the blood. A pancreatic transplant, also called an islet cell transplant, is performed in order to solve this issue. Here is a look at what’s involved in the procedure.

  • Important islets are collected from outside pancreatic sources (that usually comes in the form of a donor).
  • A high level internal process is carried out for purifying and then processing these grouped islets so that they are conducive to be injected into a patient’s system (one who is suffering from diabetes).
  • Research is on towards making this complex methodology an easy and universally affordable one in order to do away with the costly injections of insulin.
  • Depending on the patient’s body weight, it is decided whether a single pancreas will suffice to rid him from the painful rigors of insulin consumption.

These intricate cells (contained islets) then produce and release insulin within the body to counter the effects of diabetes. Islets are secured from any available donor’s pancreas, and they generally come from the bodies of deceased individuals. Being extremely sensitive and delicate in nature, they need to be transplanted immediately. In some cases, patients might have to take up a double pancreatic transplant, with samples taken from two different pancreases.

In every instance, a discussion of the diabetes surgery risks involved and pre diabetes treatment are essential before undergoing the surgery.

Why You Should Opt for Expert Surgeons

This intricate system of an islet cell transplant can be carried out successfully through the responsible supervision of a seasoned radiologist. A professional surgeon will use a combination of extreme X-Rays along with modern ultrasound technology to place a catheter (a small plastic tube like entry) into the upper abdominal area.

It can also be directly injected into portal veins that are highly sensitive, reaching the internal sections of the liver. Once the islets have been transfused slowly, the patient will be put on strong sedatives and local anesthesia in order to counter the pains.

This is quite a complex process where chances of a smooth pancreatic transplant depend on the expertise of the presiding surgeons. After this procedure, patients are advised to continue taking insulin before the surgeon is sure that the islets are fully functional.

The Long Term Effects of a Pancreatic Transplant

A pancreatic transplant needs to be successful and self sufficient to take care of the deficiency in a patient’s system. As an added benefit, the patient will also be guarded from the dangers erupting from a state of hypoglycemia with an improved control over glucose.

On a large scale, chances of contracting heart and kidney diseases, pressure fluctuations and damages to the eye and nerves can be ruled out with a smooth pancreatic transplant. The flip side however, shows in the gamut of dangers that come as the by-products of the transplant procedure.

It is necessary to take proper islet cell transplant recovery measures after undergoing surgical diabetes treatment. Excessive bleeding and clotting of blood are some of the commonly reported side effects of a pancreatic transplant. Certain drugs and immunosuppressant medication will be prescribed in some cases in order to combat these problems. You can talk to your physician in order to check whether you qualify for the pancreatic transplant procedure and get a professional brief outlining the risks and benefits from him.


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