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Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplantation for Diabetes

Topic Overview

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.

Because the surgery is less complicated than organ transplantation, usually fewer complications occur. But you must still take medicine to prevent rejection.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised July 16, 2013

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