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A 29-year-old member asked:

Can a person live without a pancreas?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Family Medicine 43 years experience
Yes: Many people have had to have the pancrease (pancrelipase) removed. This causes many health issues. First, there is diabetes due to this being the organ secreting insulin. This can be replaced. Next, is the absence of pancreatic digestive enzymes. Artifical pancreatic enzymes can be taken. Diarrhea is often the problem. None of this is optimum but sometimes the only alternative to keeping it.
Dr. Ralph Layman
Transplant Surgery 20 years experience
Yes: You can be alive even after your entire pancreas has been removed. However, you would have very difficult to control diabetes. Also you would have problems with digestion and be required to take enzyme suppliments.
Dr. Jonathan Fridell
General Surgery 27 years experience
Pancreatectomy: Yes, but they would be very brittle diabetics because they would be missing all of he glucose homeostasis hormones that the pancreas secretes (insulin, glucagon, somatostatin) and their digestion would be poor because they would be missing the enzymes that the pancreas secretes that participate in digestion. There are oral enzyme preparations that help.

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Similar questions

A 44-year-old member asked:

For what length of time can a person live without their pancreas?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. David Sneid
Endocrinology 41 years experience
Hours: To days. They would develop severe diabetes and also malnutrition very, very rapidly - which would be fatal if not treated properly.
A 43-year-old member asked:

Can it be possible for you to live without a pancreas?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Ramkaransingh
Interventional Radiology 20 years experience
Yes: It is possible to live without a pancreas. Patients without a pancreas require life-long insulin shots, because the insulin-producing Islet cells are gone. This diabetes is often very difficult to manage. Also, these people need pancreatic enzyme supplements to help digest certain foods.
MO
A 28-year-old male asked:

Can u live without your pancreas?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stevan Cordas
Internal Medicine 57 years experience
No pancreas: Yes but not without a specialist to prescribe what you need to do so. It isn't easy.
A 34-year-old member asked:

How long could a person survive without their pancreas?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. David Sneid
Endocrinology 41 years experience
Hours to days: A very short time. Don't leave home without it!

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Last updated Jun 15, 2019

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