Surgeon David Leeser says chronic cases are the most frustrating.David Leeser, M.D.Transplant SurgeonUniversity of Maryland Medical Center
...David Leeser, M.D.
"It could be removed, but when you did remove the entire pancreas you knew you were going to get bad diabetes."
To stop diabetes from developing, surgeons transplant a patient's own islet cells into the liver.There, they can thrive and produce insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels.David Leeser, M.D.
...David Leeser, M.D., a transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland, says, "It could be removed, but when you did remove the entire pancreas you knew you were going to get bad diabetes."
To stop diabetes from developing after removing the pancreas, Dr. Leeser
is transplanting islet cells into the liver of the patient.Dr. Leeser
says, "With our ability to isolate islets from the pancreas and put them into the liver, we can go to the operating room, we can remove the patient's pancreas, which is causing the pain, we can bring it to our lab here, and we can digest it down and then we can give the patient back their own islet cells."By giving the patient their own islet cells, there is no risk of the body rejecting the transplanted cells.Dr. Leeser
says, "These patients have a 50- to 75-percent chance of not needing insulin after the transplant.