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A pancreas transplant is an organ transplant that involves implanting a healthy pancreas (one that can produce insulin) into a person who has diabetes. Because the pancreas performs functions necessary in the digestion process, the recipient's native pancreas is left in place, and the donated pancreas attached in a different location. In the event of rejection of the new pancreas, the recipient could not survive without the native pancreas still in place. The healthy pancreas comes from a donor who has just died or it may be a partial pancreas from a living donor.  Whole pancreas transplants from living donors are not possible, again because the pancreas is a necessary organ for digestion. At present, pancreas transplants are usually performed in persons with insulin-dependent diabetes who have severe complications.
Additional recommended knowledge
There are three main types of pancreas transplantation:
In most cases, pancreas transplantation is performed on individuals with type 1 diabetes with end-stage renal disease The majority of pancreas transplantations (>90%) are simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplantions.
Preservation until implantation
The prognosis after pancreas transplantation is very good. Over the recent years, long-term success has improved and risks have decreased. One year after transplantation more than 95% of all patients are still alive and 80-85% of all pancreases are still functional. After transplantation patients need lifelong immunosuppression. Immunosuppression increases the risk for a number of different kinds of infection and cancer.
The first pancreas transplantation was performed in 1966, three years after the first kidney transplantation. A pancreas along with kidney and duodenum was transplanted into a 28-year-old woman and her blood sugar levels decreased immediately after transplantation, but eventually she died three months later from pulmonary embolism. In 1979 the first living-related partial pancreas transplantation was done.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pancreas_transplantation". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.