An Option for Type 1 Diabetes
The goal in diabetes management is to provide insulin therapy in a way that mimics the natural pancreas. The closest therapy available at this time is a pancreas transplant. When successful, a pancreas transplant cures diabetes, as blood sugar levels become normal because the new pancreas produces insulin.
A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor into a person whose pancreas no longer functions properly. Almost all pancreas transplants are done to treat cases of type 1 diabetes.
Pancreas Transplant Surgical Options
- Simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant (SPK)—Because most people with type 1 diabetes who meet the criteria for pancreas transplantation also have some degree of kidney disease, simultaneous transplantation of both a pancreas and a kidney is often performed. Learn more about SPK at Methodist Transplant Institute.
- Pancreas after kidney transplant (PAK)—In this procedure, a pancreas is transplanted into a person who has already received a kidney transplant. This procedure generally has a success rate near that of SPK procedures.
- Pancreas transplant alone (PTA)—In this procedure, only the pancreas is transplanted. This type of procedure is done less often, and generally has a lower success rate than the other procedure types.