The pancreas is a small organ, located just behind the stomach, that performs several vital functions. One of these functions is producing insulin, a hormone that regulates the levels of sugar (glucose) in your blood. When the pancreas can’t make enough insulin to control these glucose levels, Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) results.
Most renal-pancreas transplants are performed on patients with Type 1 diabetes, especially those whose kidneys either have been or will soon be affected by the disease. If kidney function has already been affected, a combination kidney-pancreas transplant will probably be recommended.
A pancreas transplant is a procedure in which the pancreas of a deceased donor is placed in the body of a patient whose pancreas has ceased to function. The recipient’s pancreas remains in place so that it can continue its other functions such as aiding digestion.