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Medical Devices

Insulin Pumps

Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices, about the size of a pager, that you wear on your belt or put in your pocket. They have a small flexible tube (called a catheter) with a fine needle at the end. The needle is inserted under the skin of your abdomen and taped in place. A carefully measured, steady flow of insulin is released into the tissue.

When using an insulin pump, you must monitor your blood glucose level at least four times a day. You set doses and make adjustments to your insulin, depending on your food intake and exercise program. The pump frees you from having to measure insulin into a syringe.

Some health care providers prefer the insulin pump because its slow release of insulin mimics a working pancreas. Studies vary on whether or not the pump provides better blood glucose control than multiple daily injections.

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 12/4/2006... index#9811