Islets are miniature organs called organelles in the pancreas that are made up of thousands of cells and microscopic blood vessels. Your islets are responsible for secreting the insulin your body needs to burn glucose and other sugars. Sometimes islets can become damaged or destroyed by immune cells or the loss of pancreatic tissue, which can lead to insulin deficiencies and diabetes. If diabetes develops, it can lead to serious complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and blood vessel disease.
In order to support patients who suffer from diabetes and other pancreatic diseases, Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center opened the first islet laboratory in the city of Houston in 2007. The lab focuses on transplanting healthy, insulin-producing islet cells from a donor's pancreas into the recipient, offering new hope for patients with diabetes. Our lab is among fewer than 25 like it in the United States; in addition to clinical treatments, our doctors are actively involved in research to advance our knowledge about islet cells and how they function.
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Smith Tower, 12th Floor
Houston, TX 77030