History of pancreas transplantation

David E.R. Sutherland, Rainer W.G. Gruessner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Since the first pancreas transplant by Kelly and Lillehei on December 17, 1966, > 50, 000 pancreas transplants have been performed worldwide. The evolution of pancreas transplantation from an experimental to a standard surgical procedure took decades and included improvements in surgical techniques, immunosuppressive regimens, polymicrobial therapy, and posttransplant care, and follow-up. Many transplant surgeons have contributed to the now standardized technique of whole-organ pancreaticoduodenal transplantation with systemic venous and enteric drainage. Antibody induction therapy and triple maintenance immunosuppression have become standard of care. Despite improvements in exogenous insulin therapy through advanced medical devices and attempts at islet transplantation, pancreas transplantation remains the only long-term treatment option for patients to become insulin-independent and normoglycemic. Over the past few decades, a plethora of literature has shown that pancreas transplantation not only achieves freedom from insulin but also cessation and even reversal of secondary diabetic complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransplantation, Bioengineering, and Regeneration of the Endocrine Pancreas
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780128148334
ISBN (Print)9780128148341
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dubernard
  • International pancreas and islet association
  • International pancreas transplant registry
  • Lillehei
  • Pancreas after Islet transplantation
  • Pancreas transplantation
  • Pancreas transplantation after total pancreatectomy
  • Sollinger
  • Sutherland
  • Twin transplants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'History of pancreas transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this