Pancreas transplantation is a type of surgery in which you receive a healthy donor pancreas. It is an option for some people with type 1 diabetes. This replacement surgery takes place when the pancreas starts malfunctioning and stops producing insulin.
We need insulin to control our blood glucose levels. Since this is a limitation in individuals with type 1 diabetes, insulin shots fill the gap. Pancreas transplantation improves the quality of life of individuals living with the condition by eliminating the possibilities of prolonged insulin treatment.
Who needs the transplantation?
The patients eligible for a pancreas transplant are essentially individuals living with type 1. However, if insulin treatments can manage the disease, it should not reach the stage of surgery. On the other hand, if severe health complications arise due to diabetes, the healthcare professional will recommend pancreas transplantation.
Benefits of a pancreas transplantation
- Eliminates further insulin treatment or medication
- Diminishes daily blood glucose monitoring
- Lessens dietary restrictions
- Prevents hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
What are the risks?
Infections are common after surgery. Pancreas transplantation is not an exemption. If the patient catches colds and flu following the transplant, oral medications provide immediate medical care.
Besides infection, organ rejection may also follow. This condition occurs when the body’s immune system identifies the new organ as a foreign object. To lessen such a condition, the healthcare professional will test the tissue and blood type of the organ’s donor. If the result is positive, a second surgery may require. However, this procedure usually happens before the transplant.
It may take a long time for someone to get pancreas transplantation. Sometimes, it can take years, depending on the availability of a healthy pancreas. That’s why healthcare professionals recommend individuals to continue with their treatment until the situation is favourable for the surgery.
After a successful operation, the person with a new pancreas needs to undergo tests and check-ups over the years. It will ensure that the transplanted organ functions well. Lastly, regular check-ups with the healthcare professional will help manage the disease well and prevent other complications from developing.