For patients with Type 1 diabetes who don’t respond well to insulin or have other serious medical complications caused by their disease, pancreas transplantation offers hope for a cure. But obese candidates who need a pancreas transplant often are denied the procedure because of poor outcomes, including high rates of incision infections, which are linked to an increased risk for failure and loss of the implanted organ.
But now, surgeons at UI Health have demonstrated that obese patients with Type 1 diabetes can safely receive a pancreas transplant when the surgery is performed robotically. Their findings are published in the journal Transplant International.
“The incidence of obesity among diabetic patients has risen dramatically over the past decades,” said Dr. Mario Spaggiari, assistant professor of surgery in the UIC College of Medicine, and lead author of the paper. “We have shown that by using robotic surgical techniques, this population can be safely transplanted, meaning that those who would have previously been denied can have access to this procedure that can vastly improve quality of life.”