University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Surgery for chronic pancreatitis gives nursing student a second chance at a pain-free life

Since the third grade, Stephanie McGuire had lived with bouts of severe pain. Her condition went undiagnosed for years, but she eventually learned she suffered from chronic pancreatitis, or inflammation of the organ that produces insulin. Lifestyle changes and medical therapies did little to alleviate her condition. Recently she underwent autologous islet transplantation for chronic pancreatitis, a unique procedure that maintains the patient’s natural insulin production to avoid surgically induced diabetes. University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics is one of only a few institutions on the country to offer this procedure.

Under the direction of transplant surgeon Luis Fernandez, MD, a surgical team removed McGuire’s pancreas, isolated healthy islets, and infused them into her liver. Since the operation, McGuire has been able to return to nursing school without pain.

“Kitchen appliance helps patients escape a lifetime of pain” aired on WISC-TV Channel 3 on March 2, 2015.