removal of pancreas

By swanslake54 Latest Reply 2011-06-30 11:20:06 -0500
Started 2011-06-30 09:36:15 -0500

I had a very interesting conversation with a young friend, who is also a diabetic. He was feeling down because he's so young and have these medical issues. He said he was thinking of getting his pancreas moved, since its not producing insulin and pancreatic cancer is so hard to diagnose, until it too late. He's looking at this as a preventative measure. I told him I've never heard of a doctor doing this and that I would ask you guys. Thanks

7 replies

MAYS 2011-06-30 10:55:07 -0500 Report

I seriously doubt that a doctor would do this type of surgery unless it was absolutely necessary due to the fact that the pancreas serves a very vital function aside from producing insulin.

The pancreas has digestive and hormonal functions:

The enzymes secreted by the exocrine tissue in the pancreas help break down carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and acids in the duodenum. These enzymes travel down the pancreatic duct into the bile duct in an inactive form. When they enter the duodenum, they are activated. The exocrine tissue also secretes a bicarbonate to neutralize stomach acid in the duodenum.
The hormones secreted by the endocrine tissue in the pancreas are insulin and glucagon (which regulate the level of glucose in the blood), and somatostatin (which prevents the release of the other two hormones).


0tina0 2011-06-30 10:30:02 -0500 Report

I had pancreatic cancer and did have my pancreas removed along with alot of other organs they didn't think I needed. I think your friend must have mis understood what they were telling him. I am also an RN and I doubt any board certified physician would tell a patient to remove an organ that is not cancerous or infected or some other major problem. And one more note…insurance will not foot the bill for this huge surgery unless it is absolutely necessary. I hope your friend gets better advice and being diabetic is not the end of the world…just a different world.

swanslake54 2011-06-30 10:44:38 -0500 Report

Let me clarify, he hasn't been told he has or might have cancer. He was thinking maybe doing it as a preventative measure. You know the way women with a family history of breast cancer opt to have their breast removed, that's what he was thinking. I believe he was just donw at the moment and not thinking clearly. He was saying its not producing insulin so why chance getting cancer later on.

0tina0 2011-06-30 11:20:06 -0500 Report

O I get it better now…sorry…poor guy, I feel for him, but wow what a drastic measure. It is really hard to have diabetes but take it from me, being alive is a really good thing…no matter what I have to do to stay this way.

Cari Lee
Cari Lee 2011-06-30 10:10:36 -0500 Report

I can not imagine a Dr. removing a pancreas as a preventative measure. My husband was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and they removed it. He lived 11years but during that time it spread to his stomach( which he had to have removed), his kidneys and then to his liver. The pain was nearly unbearable.
Pancreatic cancer is not hard to diagnose any more. Please tell ur young friend to get tested before he gets a knife happy surgeon to take it out. Unless he indeed does have cancer, there r treatments available and Pancreas removal in any situation has alot of health issues.

swanslake54 2011-06-30 10:19:34 -0500 Report

Thanks for your prompt reply. I told him just as a dentist will not extract a tooth that can be save, i thought the same principle applies here. He doesn't think he has cancer, he just thouhgt maybe this was a way to off-set it in the future. He was down because he had his eye exam and the dr. thinks he might be developing glaucoma. He said he just feels so bad, to be so young with these health problems. I reminded him that it's trying for all of us but we have to be grateful for any advances and do our part to maintain. We've all had (and entitled to) our Pity Parties.

Cari Lee
Cari Lee 2011-06-30 10:31:06 -0500 Report

I think u did the right thing, swanslake, and u r so right about the pity party.
Just keep in mind, that if he has any more problems with the pancreas, to get help immediately. Pancreas cancer is a very progressive cancer.
Good luck to u and to ur young friend. All of the deseases seem to be getting worse as the years go by. It is so sad.