Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation (PT-IAT)
Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation has emerged as a surgical option for the treatment of debilitating pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP). It may also be an option for some patients with recurrent acute pancreatitis, particularly for those with multiple hospitalizations that affect quality of life, including the ability to work or go to school.
Understanding Chronic Pancreatitis
Chronic pancreatitis is a complex condition characterized by progressive inflammation of the pancreas, leading to destruction of the gland. Over time, irreversible damage may lead to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and diabetes. » Learn more about symptoms and causes of chronic pancreatitis.
Initial treatment options for pancreatitis include pain management and dietary modifications. Physicians often prescribe narcotics, which may have side effects like constipation and drowsiness. Endoscopic or surgical treatments can also be attempted in selected patients.
Painful chronic pancreatitis or multiple recurrent episodes of pancreatitis that are not controlled by standard medical and surgical treatments may require the removal of the whole pancreas (total pancreatectomy) to relieve severe symptoms. This procedure was a last resort in the past because there was potential for patients to develop brittle diabetes. It was a tough choice -- relieving the pain of one serious condition, only to know that another complex problem would result.
Today, the University of Chicago Medicine and a handful of other U.S. hospitals offer autologous islet cell transplantation (AIT) after total pancreatectomy. The goal is to prevent the onset of diabetes onset or reduce the severity of the disease.
At the Forefront of Research and Clinical Care
University of Chicago specialists are among the nation’s most experienced pancreatic surgeons, clinical pancreatologists and islet isolation experts with respect to both the range of alternatives offered and the number of procedures completed. Each member of our team has more than 10 years of experience performing total pancreatectomies with islet autotransplantation and caring for patients after the procedure. Learn more about our specialists:
Moreover, as a top research institution, University of Chicago Medicine offers qualified patients a unique opportunity to advance biomedical innovation by participating in structured clinical studies. Our physicians currently are examining the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug aimed at reducing the risk of diabetes development in patients undergoing total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation for chronic pancreatitis.
You may be eligible to participate in this study if you:
- Have severe chronic pancreatitis and are candidate for total pancreatectomy
- Do not have diabetes or impaired glycometabolic control
If you are qualified and chose to participate:
- You will receive study medication and study related exams
- The study consists of approximately 3 study visits
If you are interested in learning more about total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation, please read the answers to frequently asked questions, or call 773-702-4424.