Patients with chronic pancreatitis often face severe, unrelenting pain with little or no relief. There is no cure for this progressive disease; and for many, there’s no effective medical treatment beyond high doses of narcotics. But, one surgical treatment offers hope to patients like Jennifer Bowen, who once thought a normal life would never be possible. Total pancreatectomy with islet auto-transplantation (TP-IAT) – while not a panacea – can yield significant relief of symptoms.
Auto islet cell transplantation is not for everyone – but, for those with chronic pancreatitis who have tried many other options and have not had any success in easing the pain – this is an alternative that has been gaining acceptance in the pancreas surgical community. Results at the University of Minnesota, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, and many other medical institutions have been very encouraging.