Pancreas transplant is surgery to replace a healthy pancreas from the donor body into a patient who is a patient and suffering from diabetes. The patient becomes independent of insulin injections because of the Pancreas transplant surgery.
The healthy pancreas is collected from a donor who has been declared as brain-dead, but remains on life-support. The donor pancreas should meet several criteria to make sure that it is suitable for transplantation.
Duodenum, a portion of the first part of the small intestine is replaced along with the donor pancreas. The healthy pancreas is placed in a cooled solution that basically preserves the organ for up to 20 hours for use.
The diseased pancreas of the patient is not taken out during the operation. The donor pancreas is generally placed at the right lower portion of the abdomen. Blood vessels from the healthy pancreas are attached with the blood vessels of the patient. The donor-duodenum is then attached with the intestine of the patient or bladder to drain all sorts of pancreatic secretions.
Only the pancreas transplant alone takes almost 3 hours. However, the operation is generally done at the same time as the kidney transplant for diabetic patients with kidney disease. The combined operation requires almost 6 hours.
Why the procedure is performed?
The pancreas creates a substance called insulin. Insulin transports glucose ( in layman terms- sugar), from the blood stream into the muscles and also pancreas cells. It can also be used as the fuel there. In case of those patients suffering from type-1 diabetes, pancreas hardly makes enough insulin. This causes excessive glucose formation in the blood, which in turn results the increase in blood-sugar levels.
A pancreas transplant can cure diabetes substantially and also eliminates the need for insulin shots. As there are several of the risks in this transplant most of the people with type 1 diabetes do not have a pancreas transplant immediate after they are diagnosed.
Pancreas transplant is rarely done alone only because of the number of risks involved. It is generally done when someone with type 1 diabetes and invariably also needs a kidney transplant.
Pancreas transplant is not recommended for patients with the following complications:
The doctor may not recommend pancreas transplant if the patient will not be able to comply with frequent follow-up visits, tests and medications needed to keep the transplanted organ healthy.
The risks for pancreas transplant include:
The immune system of the body considers the transplanted organ foreign and fights it accordingly. Hence to prevent rejection, organ transplant patients must take certain drugs (such as cyclosporine and corticosteroids) that weaken the immune response of the body. It can make the patient less able to fight with the infections and can cause other medical problems.
One can get world class treatments like the pancreas transplant surgery in several of the medical organizations in Singapore from well qualified and professional doctors trained in UK and USA
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