Implantable insulin pump

I don’t know how many of you have ever heard of it.
I’ve been a diabetic for 13 years and have never heard, read, seen it or have been told of it in any other way.

But apparently, there are some people who use this kind of pump. Successfully for or up to 20 years, that is! The project is still running in Europe, but even as someone living in Europe for all my life, I didn’t know anything about it.

The article that made me aware of it:

So, my question (or rather: questions) is:

Have you ever heard of it?
Do you know someone who is living with this thing, or do you have it yourself?
Do you know how to get one of these, and how much you have to spend on it?
Any ideas on what could be done to prevent the project from being stopped?


Never heard of it. It would be great though.

I heard of this in the late 80’s. Then they came out with ones that we use now. I think the main issue with that one is if you have a problem or get knocked in the area it is in it can break and spill all the insulin inside you before you realize there is a problem.


That would be my only fear: what if it breaks? Would it be possible to get help in time? You definitely can’t eat enough to cover the full amount of insulin. That’s rather frightening to everyone who is used to just eat something when they’re low and everything is going to be ok.

I’ve never overdosed with a dangerous amount of insulin or confused long acting with fast acting insulin, but even I know how difficult to manage a low bg is that is caused by too much insulin.

But, as said, is seems to work.
So it would be great to get to know more about it.

My old endo on the San Francisco peninsula participated in a study in the late 80s, early 90s on implantable insulin pumps. I believe the study was hosted by Stanford. I went to one meeting way back then so my memory of details is limited.

I remember though, the insulin was a very concentrated strength, so that refills only took place about once/month. The refill was a doctor office procedure. The strong point of this device was that it released insulin into the portal vein of the liver. This allowed the insulin to begin working immediately and get done working in relatively short order.

I don’t believe that this technology ever progressed beyond the experimental stage. I’m not sure what prevented it from evolving to a common treatment choice. In addition to the concern about leaks that could kill, I would be concerned about the body’s acceptance of this foreign object.

You know I got to thinking about that to. The body and a foreign object b/c when I had my pancres transplant (worked for awhile then diabetic again long story) But they told me my body would try to reject a foreign object and put me on anti-rejection meds and steriods… More info please.

This is not the first time I’ve heard of it but is the first time I’ve read this much about it.

I don’t know anyone who is living with it and doubt many folks do, it’s not even available yet unless you are in the study or live in France.

Getting one is not possible for just everyobody it looks like, until it is an actual approved product for diabetics, and health care professionals, and the market, and here in the US it has to pass the FDA gig. And, It’s a long way and a big expense to go to France 4 times a year to get a refill, or even to get the implant at all.

I’ve no idea what can be done to prevent the project from being stopped, other than giving the mfg money.

Seems you still need a device to “manage” the implanted pump. I’ll stick with the old fashioned way. When they come up with one that can do it all (a true artificial pancreas), I’ll get in line for that. I can’t help but wonder what the testomonials really mean when they say they feel “normal”. I feel pretty normal, in spite of having diabetes. I am wondering about the insulin…who makes it, how do they get it, etc.

Knowing a bit about biochemistry/physiology and how hormones work in the body, I think it is possible to feel… well, different.

How much of what is in which part of your body can make a huge difference. If the concentration of insulin is nearer to how it normally would be (with a working pancreas), it can do its job better, and less insulin will end up in places it’s not needed.

That is the difference. It it not so much about it being even more invisible or refilling it only 4 times a year but more about the way and place the insulin works.

Doris, a device is different than a transplanted organ. It’s not much different than people who have pins or plates from orthopedic surgery, or hip replacement. People with pacemakers don’t have to take anti-rejection meds or have to turn off immune response with steroids.

not totally different. My husband had to have his ankle screwed together (long story) and his body rejected the screwsw and they had to do another surgery to remove them (this was 20+ years ago) Dr said then about 20% of patients bodies reject harware.

When he had his spinal cord stimulator put in (some years later) they said rejection was still a risk. They did a trail and there was no issue and has not been an issue (thankfully) for it.

Docs all said any foreign object can cause a rejection reaction.

okay, thanks! I thought you were asking some interesting questions, and they led me to ask some of my own lol!

I am going to have to dig and find out more about this insulin, that is VERY intersting to me. I’ve graduated through most of the available insulins through the years and can’t say they ended up in places not needed except by user error. With this implant and the device needed to deliver the insulin, seems the issues of too much, too little, poor timing may still exist? All I can find is the insulin is U-400 insulin (semi-synthetic insulin) made by Aventis.