At UCSF's Total Pancreatectomy – Islet Auto Transplant (TP-IAT) clinic we are experts in treating diseases of the pancreas and biliary system. UCSF is the only facility west of the Mississippi (and the only one on the West for pediatric patients) to offer islet auto-transplantation as a way to minimize diabetes after a total pancreatectomy or removal of the pancreas. This innovative procedure helps alleviate the pain caused by chronic pancreatitis, while preserving a patient's ability to secrete insulin and reducing their risk of developing surgically-induced diabetes.
Chronic pancreatitis can severely limit a patient's quality of life. It is often difficult to manage the pain associated with the condition and patients are frequently too disabled to work. Severely ill patients have traditionally been treated by removing the pancreas, but this leaves them diabetic and reliant on external sources of insulin.
A total pancreatectomy followed by an islet auto transplantation is a complicated procedure that requires expertise and training provided by only a select few medical centers in the world. The depth and breadth of transplant experience at UCSF has played a vital role in enhancing our ability to perform islet auto-transplantation safely and effectively.
The technique involves harvesting functioning islets from the patient's diseased pancreas and then infusing them into the portal vein, where they migrate to the liver. The islet auto-transplant technique is a modification of one used to manage severe insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes, in which islets are isolated from a deceased donor pancreas. In chronic pancreatitis, the patient's own islets are used, eliminating the risk of tissue rejection.
At UCSF, eight patients have undergone total pancreatectomy with islet auto-transplantation since 2006. All have survived, and more than half did not require insulin after the procedure. In keeping with results from the few other institutions using the technique, 70-80 percent of patients at UCSF have had a substantial decrease in their pain medications, and 40-50% have been able to stop pain medications completely.
You'll need a referral from your primary care provider or specialist to make an appointment. Once you have the referral, please call the number below.
Total Pancreatectomy - Islet Auto Transplant (TP-IAT)
400 Parnassus Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco CA 94143-0780
Phone: (415) 353-1473
Fax: (415) 353-8709