Pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation is a procedure that offers relief for those who suffer from chronic and recurrent acute pancreatitis and deal with severe stomach pains; those specific cases that cannot be helped with conventional treatment methods for the condition.
A double-step procedure, ABC recently advised that the first part of the process requires the pancreas to be removed (via surgery and referred to as pancreatectomy); while the second step has doctors removing auto islets, cells found in the pancreas that create insulin, from the organ and transplanting them into one’s liver.
Hand-in-hand, the first step of the procedure helps to relieve pain, while the second decreases the need a patient has for insulin, something that is necessary for those living without a pancreas.
About 80% of patients that undergo the procedure state that there is a significant reduction in pain, if not completely gone all together, once pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation is complete. As time goes by, some do become diabetic, and require insulin.
A fairly new procedure when it comes to recurrent and chronic pancreatitis, it is a leading edge and revolutionary therapy when it comes to the condition, changing the game for many sufferers, including children living with hereditary pancreatitis, and is currently being conducted worldwide. As such, many kiddos dealing with the condition no longer have to sit on a waiting list for a donor, which also decreases risks of them developing diabetes or even cancer; two major factors when it comes to living with the condition over a long period of time.
The entire surgery takes up to about eight hours in total. There are some risks (as with any type of surgery), including developing adhesive bowel obstruction, which can delay recovery for some patients; however, these risks really do outweigh the benefits of the two-step procedure.