About the Pancreas

The pancreas is an organ in the digestive and endocrine system. In the human body it sits behind the stomach.

There are two types of tissue in the pancreas. The endocrine region releases hormones that regulate blood glucose levels. The exocrine region produces enzymes that break down digestible foods.


From 2007 - 2021, Arizona Transplant Associates have performed this volume of pancreatic procedures.

Pancreas Transplants
Whipple Procedures
Other Pancreas & Bile Duct Resections

Why is the pancreas important?

The pancreas is important because it is essential to a person's digestive process. The digestive system breaks up and digests the foods. After two hours or more in the stomach, the partly digested food moves into the beginning of the duodenum. When the food reaches the duodenum, the pancreas releases its digestive juices which flow down the pancreatic duct and mix with the food. The juices contain enzymes that help to break down the food into very small fragments. These fragments are absorbed into the body through the small bowel.

Pancreatic Disease

There are several types of pancreatic disease.

Pancreatic diseases include:

  • Benign tumors
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes (type 1)
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Hemosuccus pancreaticus or bleeding from or through the pancreatic duct
  • Pancreatitis
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Hereditary pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic pseudocyst

Treatments Provided

by Arizona Transplant Associates

Doctors Cashman, Brink, Van der Werf and Chaly offer the following liver procedures:

  • Pancreas resection - A portion of a person's pancreas (or in some cases the entire pancreas) is surgically removed usually because they have a cancerous tumor. After surgery patients may need pancreatic enzyme supplements and insulin depending on how much their body can produce with a reduced pancreas.


National Pancreas Foundation, www.pancreasfoundation.org
United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), www.unos.org

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