The pancreas is a gland behind your stomach and in front of your spine. It produces the juices that help break down food and the hormones that help control blood sugar levels. A pancreas transplant is surgery to place a healthy pancreas from a donor into a person with a diseased pancreas. It is mostly done for people with severe type 1 diabetes. It can allow them to give up insulin shots. An experimental procedure called islet cell transplantation transplants only the parts of the pancreas that make insulin.
People who have transplants must take drugs to keep their body from rejecting the new pancreas for the rest of their lives. They must also have regular follow-up care. Because of the risks, it is not a common treatment for type 1 diabetes.
- Getting a New Pancreas: Facts about Pancreas Transplants (American Society of Transplantation) - PDF
- Pancreas Transplant (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Kidney-Pancreas Transplant (National Kidney Foundation)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Pancreas Transplantation (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Transplant Glossary (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network)
Find an Expert
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
- Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network: Member Directory (Health Resources and Services Administration, United Network for Organ Sharing, Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network)
Finance and Policy
- Your Medicare Coverage: Pancreas Transplants (Adults) (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)