In patients with chronic pancreatitis, relief of pain can be achieved only by either removal of a portion of the pancreas or total pancreatectomy depending on the individual circumstances for each patient. In the case of total pancreatectomy, this will result the lack of insulin production and diabetes mellitus with the need for glucose checks and insulin injections. In those that have a portion of their pancreas removed, they may be at greater risk for the development of diabetes mellitus over time.
Patient with chronic inflammation of the pancreas may want to consider having a pancreatectomy and auto islet transplant; that is, isolation of the cells of that produce insulin (termed ‘islets’) and have them delivered back to their body. During this type of surgery, the pancreas (partial or total) is removed and the patient's own islets are isolated. The islets are then allowed to return to the patient through a catheter placed in a large vessel leading to the liver where they produce insulin. Because these islets are from you, immune suppressant medications are not necessary. It is also expected that one would require little or no insulin if a good recovery of islets is obtained from the portion of the pancreas that is removed. Greater success rates can be obtained from patients who have had no surgical procedures on the pancreas before. In a unique relationship, patients who come to UCLA for this procedure with be treated by a multidisciplinary team of physicians and nurse specialists at UCLA and the islets will be isolated by an expert team at the University of California, San Francisco.
Auto Islet Transplant Program (310) 206-6889
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) provides a toll-free patient services lines to help transplant candidates, recipients, and family members understand organ allocation practices and transplantation data. You may also call this number to discuss problems you may be experiencing with your transplant center or the transplantation system in general. The toll-free patient services line number is 1-888-894-6361