Diabetes: Pancreatic Transplant

A pancreatic transplant involves replacing some or all of a diabetic person’s faulty islets of Langerhns cells with healthy ones that will produce insulin. Recently researchers have made important progress since the mid- 1990s in transplanting islet cells from donated pancreases into people with severe type 1 diabetes.

The Edmonton Protocol

1995 researchers working in Emonton, Canada, reported an important advance. They had extracted islet cells from donated pancreases from people who had died and injected them into the liver. The technique – now called the Edmonton Protocol is surprisingly simple and can be carried out under local anesthetic. Using a fine needle, the cells are injected into the main blood vessel of the liver. After the transplant, people are usually able to go home within 24 hours.

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