Removing the entire pancreas in patients with cancer or precancerous cysts in part of the organ does not result in unmanageable diabetes.
Research at Mayo Clinic in Florida has evaluated how well patients who had their entire pancreas removed could control their resulting diabetes. The pancreas produces insulin to remove sugar from the blood, so when the organ is gone, insulin must be replaced, usually through an external pump or with injections.
The researchers examined control of insulin over several years in 14 patients whose entire pancreas was removed. They compared their findings with 100 people with type 1 diabetes, and must use insulin replacement. They found both groups had little difficulty controlling their blood sugar, and no complications resulted. The findings should reassure physicians and surgeons that removing the entire pancreas is reasonably safe and effective