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Healthy Balance

Islet Cell Transplant: A Treatment Option For Diabetes

Islet cells are clusters of cells that help your body regulate blood glucose and insulin. There are around one million islets in a healthy adult pancreas, each containing a few thousand cells.

Auto Islet Cell Transplants

Learn more about an option for chronic pancreatitis, auto islet cell transplants.

Beta cells, which detect sugar in your blood and then release insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels, are one type of cells within an islet. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body’s immune system mistakenly identifies these beta cells as harmful and destroys them. Thus, your pancreas is no longer able to regulate the body’s blood sugar levels. An islet cell transplant is one option to treat this condition.

A Closer Look at the Islet Cell Transplant Procedure

During the procedure, healthy islet cells are removed from your pancreas and transplanted to the liver, where they can continue to produce insulin.

Watch Kenneth Brayman, MD, discuss the UVA islet cell transplant program.

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