A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor into a person whose pancreas no longer functions properly. Almost all pancreas transplants are done to treat cases of type 1 diabetes.

Your pancreas is an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. One of its main functions is to make insulin, a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) into your cells. Type 1 diabetes results when your pancreas can't make enough insulin, causing your blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels.

The side effects of a pancreas transplant can be significant, so a pancreas transplant is typically reserved for those who have serious diabetes complications. A pancreas transplant is often done in conjunction with a kidney transplant.

Sep. 22, 2011