Health Library Home>Conditions InDepth>Article

Surgical Procedures for Type 1 Diabetes

For some people, surgery may be done to treat diabetes when other methods do not help. Choices are:

Pancreas Transplant

A transplant places a healthy donor pancreas into the body. The new organ will make insulin and it will no longer need to be injected.

Kidney damage is a common problem in people with diabetes. This transplant is often done with a kidney transplant.

Islet Cell Transplant

Islets are the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. This procedure takes healthy donor islet cells and injects them into a vein that carries blood to the liver. The cells will make insulin. It will need to be done more than once. It can help a person manage their blood glucose and may even be able to stop insulin injections.

Islet Cells

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes-2019. Diabetes Care. 2019. Jan; 42 (Suppl 1):S1-193.

Diabetes mellitus type 1. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated June 28, 2019. Accessed November 22, 2019.

Type 1 diabetes. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Accessed November 22, 2019.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 12/8/2020