A new type of transplant may help patients diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes quit their daily insulin injections, as proven by the latest surgery which turned out to be a huge success.
Wendy Peacock became the first patient to ever receive this innovative treatment. Doctors at the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami successfully transplanted islet cell that produce insulin into Wendy Peacock’s body, a patient who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
After the transplant the life of the woman, aged 43, became significantly better, as reported by C herself. Her condition was very serious as she suffered from a case of severe hypoglycemia (also known as low blood sugar) which meant that her blood sugar often decreased to levels considered to be below normal. This can result in a variety of symptoms such as loss of consciousness, shakiness, confusion, seizures and it can sometimes lead to death. As a single mother of a 5-year-old child, Peacock was desperate to receive the cell transplant.
At the age of 17 Peacock was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She explains that her life has been a continuous struggle ever since. If never stops, even after taking the daily recommended dose of insulin injections, she says.
On August 19 Peacock went under surgery which turned out to be a massive success. Following the procedure, the woman’s body started producing insulin on its own. She no longer relies on the insulin injections, say doctors.
There is a major difference between the new cell transplant technique and the previous ones, say specialists. The location where the isle cells are implanted by surgeons is not the same. Doctors say that the new technique is more efficient because after being placed in biodegradable engineered scaffolds, the islet cells are implanted on the greater omentum that surrounds the abdominal organs. In previous procedures, the islet cells used to be injected directly into the patient’s liver, but this made the cells die shortly after.
“If these results can be confirmed, this can be the beginning of a new era in islet transplantation. Our ultimate goal is to include additional technologies to prevent the need for life-long anti-rejection therapy.” reported the director of the Diabetes Research Institute, Dr. Camillo Ricordi.
Wendy Peacock is currently following an anti-rejection drug regime in order to prevent her immune system from attacking the newly transplanted cells.
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