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

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.