Pancreas transplantation: a treatment option for people with diabetes



Since the first pancreas transplants in the early 1960s, whole-organ pancreas transplantation, either alone or combined with kidney transplantation, has become commonplace in many countries around the world. Whole-organ pancreas transplantation is available in the UK, with ~200 transplants currently carried out per year. Patient survival and pancreas graft outcome rates are now similar to other solid organ transplant programmes, with high rates of long-term insulin independence. In the present review, we will discuss whole-pancreas transplantation as a treatment for diabetes, focusing on indications for transplantation, the nature of the procedure performed, graft survival rates and the consequences of pancreas transplantation on metabolic variables and the progression of diabetes-related complications.