The pancreas aids your body’s digestive process. But it also produces insulin, which helps your body store and deliver glucose – or sugar – through your bloodstream to power your muscles and organs.
When the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, blood sugar levels skyrocket. The result is diabetes. And the health problems diabetes can cause are well known:
- Nerve problems
- Circulation problems
- Vision problems, even blindness
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and treated with daily doses of insulin through an injection or pump.
When blood sugar can no longer be controlled this way, a pancreas transplant is the only way to stabilize the blood sugar completely. When kidney failure is an added complication, a kidney transplant may be performed at the same time.
The first pancreas transplant was performed at Geisinger Medical Center in 2003.
Click here for more information on Surgical procedures for Type I Diabetes.