Pre Diabetes Treatment – Seven Tips To Prepare For Islet Cell Transplant

Once a pancreatic transplant has been advised following a diabetes diagnosis, the patient needs to be prepped mentally and physically for the diabetes treatment procedure. This stage is called the pre diabetes treatment stage.

What You Should Know During The Pre Diabetes Treatment Phase

Also known as an islet cell transplant, the procedure involves transplanting islets from the donor to the recipient who suffers from Type 1 diabetes.

The procedure, which is still in its experimental stages, takes about an hour. Pre diabetes surgery precautions must therefore be taken as there are a number of diabetes surgery risks involved.

During pre diabetes treatment, a surgeon will apprise you of the procedure as well as the impact that the introduction of donor islets can have on your body.

Seven Pre Diabetes Treatment Precautions That Can Help

(i) Select The Right Hospital

Islet cell transplant is a rare procedure, and for this reason, one of the pre diabetes treatment precautions would be to select the right hospital to undergo the procedure. There are only around 17 hospitals that carry out islet cell transplants in the United States.

Pre Diabetes Treatment

Choosing the right hospital during the pre diabetes treatment stage is very important

If you are mentally prepared to undergo the transplant, be sure to get it done in one of these major centers. They will have the staff expertise as well as the infrastructure to not just do the procedure but to deal with any crisis or complication that may result from it. An islet transplant might leave you with long term medical needs that only a major medical center can handle.

(ii) Check If You Fit The Profile

Ensure that you fit the profile of islet cell transplant recipients. The normal profile is that of an individual who lies in the age group of 18 to 65 years.

You should have been suffering from Type 1 diabetes for a period of at least five years and the disease should have created health complications, resulting in damage to other organs like the kidneys or the eyes. Since the surgery is still experimental, it is recommended only when diabetes-related complications have created a life threatening condition.

(iii) Prepare Yourself Mentally

There is a long list of risks involved with an islet cell transplant. Be prepared to be on immunosuppressant medication for the rest of your life.

This is because the newly introduced donor islets may be rejected by your body’s auto-immune system as foreign substances. Having immunosuppressant medication has its own set of risks, involving health problems like kidney failure. The surgery may also result in liver dysfunction or damage near the liver area.

Pre diabetes treatment precautions involve coming to terms with these risks mentally. If necessary, you can speak to a counselor regarding your fears.

(iv) Don’t Expect A Miracle Cure

You should understand that islet cell transplant is not yet regarded as a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

The success rate has been good, with a substantial percentage of patients remaining insulin free for almost a year. However, as time passes, the insulin dependency of the recipients does increase.

(v) Know The Pre Diabetes Surgery Physical Procedures 

Before the surgery, the doctor will order a series of blood tests. There will also be several physical tests conducted to get an update on your health status.

These will ascertain the degree of diabetic complications that you have, including damage to the kidneys.

(vi) Start Taking Precautions A Week Before The Surgery 

Get your health insurance paperwork done and ensure that everything is in order. Follow all the instructions given by your surgeon.

These are aimed at helping you prepare mentally and physically for the surgery. If the surgeon decides to give you general anesthesia, there will be a meeting scheduled with your anesthesiologist where you will be briefed on the procedure involved.

(vii) Remember Your Checklist On The Day Of The Surgery

  • Come prepared for a 3-4 day hospital stay.
  • You have to report to the pre-operative unit, which will prepare you for the surgery.
  • Once your case has been reviewed and all the paperwork completed, you will shifted to the holding area. The anesthesia and medications required will be given at this stage.
  • Soon after, you will be moved to the operation theater for the procedure. 

Islet cell transplant is a risky procedure. In addition to this, there is not much clarity regarding its long term impact and success rate. It is therefore essential to be mentally and physically prepared prior to the procedure, and following the pre diabetes treatment measure will surely help.


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