Total pancreatectomy and islet autotransplantation are done for chronic pancreatitis with intractable pain when other treatment measures have failed, allowing insulin secretory capacity to be preserved, minimizing or preventing diabetes, while at the same time removing the root cause of the pain. Since the first case in 1977, several series have been published. Pain relief is obtained in most patients, and insulin independence preserved long term in about a third, with another third having sufficient beta cell function so that the surgical diabetes is mild. Islet autotransplantation has been done with partial or total pancreatectomy for benign and premalignant conditions. Islet autotransplantation should be used more widely to preserve beta cell mass in major pancreatic resections.
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