Monday, May 7, 2007

Total Pancreatectomy with Auto Islet Cell Transplant

Total Pancreatectomy:
Removal of the entire pancreas is utilized on occasion to treat chronic pancreatitis when other treatments are unsuccessful. This operation has no additional complication rate compared to the Whipple procedure. Removal of all the insulin-producing cells of the entire pancreas may cause a form of diabetes that is difficult to manage. Some hospitals and surgeons offer total pancreatectomy combined with transplantation of the patient's own insulin-producing cells, (Auto Islet Transplantation) in order to keep the patients from becoming diabetic. (TP/ICT)
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Auto Islet Transplantation: Transplantation of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin (islet cells) has been studied for many years, and usually involved transplanting healthy islet cells from a cadaver donor to a diabetic patient. This requires medicines to fight rejection of cells transplanted between different individuals.
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In patients with chronic pancreatitis, it is possible to remove the entire pancreas and to harvest islet cells from the pancreas.Patients can have their own insulin-producing cells transplanted and do not need to worry about rejecting these cells. This has been done with success since 1977, and is a promising new area in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis. In particular, it is useful in patients who have a pancreas that has healthy insulin-producing cells. This could include patients who have familial pancreatitis, pancreas divisum or sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.

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Once the pancreas is removed, it is taken to the lab where the islets are harvested from the patient's own pancreas.
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The islets are then placed into the liver through the Portal Vein.
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