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Advanced Practice Nursing Issues

Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Cell Transplantation for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Lisa Parks
Meghan Routt
CJON 2015, 19(4), 479-481 DOI: 10.1188/15.CJON.479-481

Resection or removal of the pancreas causes loss of parenchyma, which can result in extreme disruption of glucose homeostasis and malabsorption of dietary nutrients. However, islet autotransplantation (IAT) may reduce or prevent the severity of pancreatogenic diabetes. This article explores total pancreatectomy with IAT within the context of pancreatic cancer treatment.

At a Glance

  • The liver is the preferred site for implantation because of easy vascular access.
  • Following islet autotransplantation, the liver becomes an insulin-producing organ as the transplanted beta cells begin making insulin.
  • The most significant complication of implantation in the liver is portal vein occlusion because of thrombosis; consequently, a heparin drip is infused for the first seven days postoperatively to prevent portal vein thrombus formation.

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