Rainer Gruessner Has Developed Successful Treatment Options for the Surgical Therapy of Diabetes Mellitus
Professor of Surgery Rainer Gruessner has performed pancreas transplants for the treatment of insulin dependent diabetes for over 25 years. More recently, he and his surgical team at the University of Arizona have developed a new robot-assisted treatment to surgical diabetes that includes a total pancreatectomy and a simultaneous islet auto-transplant.
A total pancreatectomy is the complete removal of the pancreas from the body. The pancreas is primarily responsible for producing insulin and regulating blood sugar levels. With the removal of the pancreas, the body is no longer able to do this, requiring the patient to self-administer insulin shots for the rest of their life.
Most patients with surgery-induced diabetes develop brittle diabetes with wide fluctuations in the blood sugar levels. However, a simultaneous islet auto-transplant can prevent this complication and restore the patient’s insulin independence.
The new technique involves robot assistance for the removal of the pancreas, restoration of GI-continuity and transplantation of the patient’s own islets (which are responsible for the production of insulin). These islets are then transplanted into the patient’s liver, where they can regenerate and produce insulin in the body. Due to the islets being the patient’s own tissue, there is no risk for rejection from the body, adding another benefit to the procedure.
Dr. Gruessner and his team used the da-Vinci robot to perform this procedure in minimally invasive techniques. Only small incisions were made, which substantially decreased wound healing time and hospital length of stay. This robot-assisted total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation was the first of its kind ever performed and has been lauded by members of the medical community. In recognition of his pioneering techniques, Dr. Gruessner was awarded the Diabetes Cure Award by the Arizona Chapter of the American Diabetes Association in 2012.
Rainer Gruessner Wikipedia:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Rainer_Gruessner