Auto Islet Transplantation and Other Treatment Options at Ohio State’s Pancreas Clinic

By: Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

At our Pancreas Clinic, of course our focus is any patient with any type of pancreas disease. In my area of interest and research and my focus on chronic pancreatitis, the patients we want to focus on are patients who are suspected of having the disease so we can make the appropriate diagnosis, prevent any kind of invasive and potentially damaging procedures in patients who do not have the diagnosis and in those that do, start offering different treatment strategies including hopefully inventive and new strategies that we expect to develop here at the medical center. One of my focus of research and of interest is a procedure called a total pancreatectomy and islet auto transplantation, where very basically we remove the patient's pancreas, obviously in highly selected individuals, we extract the islets that produce different hormones such as insulin and give them back to the patient. In this way we remove and offending organ that we believe is causing the disease process and the chronic pain and at the same time we hope to prevent the development of diabetes, which is otherwise inevitable if you just remove the pancreas.

And not only is there a lack of general knowledge about making the diagnosis and treating this disease, but also it's a source of frustration for patients, for patients' family members and for physicians. So I really think that patients need to be proactive; need to find that there are many other people who are studying this to try to make their lives better. At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, that's going to be the major focus of my stay here is to improve the diagnosis and improve the long-term treatment strategies for these patients. So yes, absolutely we can offer this. We're working very hard to improve our knowledge and to improve our treatment for you.

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