Conventional treatments, such as drug therapies, have helped contain high blood glucose levels for many diabetics. However, some find that oral medication and insulin are not enough to sufficiently control high blood glucose and the eventual complications of the disease. Often, people need direction towards a health regiment that includes proper nutrition and physical activity in addition to drug therapies.
American College of Physicians: Considerations for Diabetes Drug Therapies
Whole Donor Pancreas Transplants
Whole donor pancreas transplants are another form of treatment. This procedure must be carried out two or three times and requires short term hospitalization for a period of three months. When successful, this procedure improves patient outcomes for people with diabetes. Yet, its effectiveness can be buffered by the challenges of long-term immunosuppression. Immunosuppressants are used in order to prevent graft rejection. Long term side effects from immunosuppressive regimens limit the pancreas transplantation to patients with very poorly controlled diabetes. Additionally, its wide reaching potential is limited by a shortage of donor material. For each patient, two to four donor pancreases are required. This greatly limits the number of diabetics who can benefit from a Whole Donor Pancreas Transplant.
National Kidney Foundation: A-Z Health Guide- Pancreas Transplant
Transplant Living.Org: What to expect during a whole organ pancreas transplant procedure
Source: Serup, P, Madsen, O, & Mandrup-Poulsen, T. (2001). Islet and stem cell transplantation for treating diabetes. British medical Journal.com, 322,