Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplantation for Diabetes
If you have pancreatic islet cell surgery because of type 1 diabetes, a surgeon will insert a small group of working pancreas cells (islet cells) from two or more donors through the portal vein in your liver. After surgery, these cells slowly begin producing insulin. When the cells produce enough insulin to stabilize your blood sugar, you may no longer need insulin injections.
Although this surgery is more promising as a cure for type 1 diabetes than pancreas transplant surgery, it is still experimental at this time. The American Diabetes Association recommends this procedure be done only as part of a research study.1 Because the surgery is less complicated than organ transplantation, usually fewer complications occur. But you must still take medicine to prevent rejection.
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