• Question: Is it possible for a person to get a pancreas transplant to treat type 1 diabetes?

    Asked by 534bera34 to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 17 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 17 Nov 2014:

      Yes. I didnt know this but yes the first transplant was carried out as far back as 1966 and then success rates are pretty good these days with the advances in immunosuppressive drugs which keep organ rejection at bay. I couldnt esasily find the with the longest survivor after their transplant online but suvival rate is 98% after 1 year and 86% at 3 years so it must be a pretty successful procedure!

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi 534bera34,

      Yes, it is possible in some case where a non-insulin-producing pancreas is the root problem for people with type 1 diabetes. But it’s not a good method if an individual is having problems in terms of very unstable blood sugars, periods when they are not aware of being very low or very high, and neurological problems in terms of passing out or being very forgetful.
      Transplant is a complicated surgery and generally it happens with kidney transplant. There is also a shortage of donors and then the risk of rejection.