Vascularized pancreas transplantation has assumed an increasing role in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Through 1993, over 5500 pancreas transplants have been performed worldwide, with over 80% being combined pancreas-kidney transplants. Overall one-year patient survival exceeds 90% and graft survival (complete insulin independence) exceeds 70%. Although successful pancreas transplantation achieves euglycemia and complete insulin independence, this occurs at the expense of hyperinsulinemia and chronic immunosuppression. The net result of these changes on diabetic complications in the long term remains to be determined. In the short term, improvement in the quality of life and possible prevention of further morbidity associated with diabetes makes pancreas transplantation an important therapeutic option, particularly when combined with a kidney transplant, in appropriately selected diabetic patients.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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