Since the first pancreas transplant in 1966. approximately 14,000 cases have been performed worldwide. Today. more than two hundred pancreas transplant centers around the world offer the procedure as an alternative to insulin therapy. More than 1,300 pancreas transplants are performed per year with overall success rates (defined as complete insulin-independence) of 83%.
Pancreas transplantation represents a remarkable victory of science over diabetes. For many of us, who have been freed of the burden of diabetes management with this procedure, a pancreas transplant is tantamount to a cure: but pancreas transplantation is not without risk. Transplant recipients must undergo major surgery and take immunosuppression drugs to prevent the transplanted pancreas from rejecting.