Pancreas transplant patient and familyGoals

Successful pancreas transplant will prevent, stop, or reverse the following:

  • Complications of diabetes
  • Need for insulin injections
  • Restrictions on diet and activities
  • Risk of severe low blood sugar reactions

Achieving these goals will highly improve your quality of life.

Evaluation

You must be a type I diabetic, under the age of 50, and in good health to qualify for a pancreas transplant. To determine if you are a candidate for kidney/pancreas or pancreas transplant, you must first have a thorough pre-transplant evaluation to identify any problem areas that might stand in the way of a successful procedure.

Waiting List

After your evaluation is completed, the transplant team will meet to discuss your evaluation. If approved, your name will be placed on the waiting list. It is difficult to predict how long you will wait since waiting times depend on your blood type and other factors.

Surgery

The kidney/pancreas is placed into the pelvic area because:

  • It is easy to get to and has a very good blood supply.
  • The kidney will be protected by the large hipbones.
  • The pancreas can be connected to the intestines.
  • After surgery the doctors can easily feel the kidney.
  • This location makes it easier to connect the ureter.

The operation usually takes six to ten hours. You can expect to be hospitalized for about five to 10 days after the transplant; although, if you have any complications, your stay could be longer.

After Transplant

Our primary goal is to prepare you to take care of your transplant and of yourself when you leave the hospital. You will begin learning all about your new pancreas, how to take care of it, how to prevent infection, your medications, and your clinic and lab schedule. To do this, we will be giving you very specific instructions in all aspects of your care.