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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Does a person die when the pancreas stop working?
The pancreas has a number of different functions which are essential for life. When individual functions fail, that person very likely would die if they didn't have either mechanisms to make up for the failure of those functions or treatments that can replace those functions. People can have their pancreas completely removed and have the functions related to digestion and to blood sugar control (as in diabetes) partly made up for by treatments like replacing the enzymes the pancreas makes that go into the digestive juices in the blood stream and by replacing the hormones that go from the pancreas into the blood. You may have some more specific question in mind than what I can tell from what you wrote - feel free to write back if you have a more specific question.
Robert M Cohen, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati