Overview

Supporting Patients Who Need Pancreas Transplants

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Phone: 801-585-5642
Toll-free: 800-824-2073
Extension: 55642
Fax: 801-585-6373

Supporting Patients Who Need Pancreas Transplants

University of Utah Health's pancreas transplant team is committed to helping patients and families navigate the complex journey of pancreas transplantation.

Goals for Pancreas Transplant Surgery

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

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

Achieving these goals will dramatically improve your quality of life.

Evaluation, waiting for transplant, surgery, and recovery from surgery are important steps to helping recipients feel better, become more active, and enjoy a better quality of life.

Multidisciplinary Transplant Team

The pancreas transplant team takes a multidisciplinary approach, providing patients access to a team of health care professionals experienced in all medical and surgical aspects of transplantation.

In addition, the transplant center offers patients and their family support to deal with changes in lifestyle, post-hospital care, and financial considerations related to transplant.

We are comprehensive program that became a Medicare-approved center in 2007.

Find a Pancreas Transplant Surgeon

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Pancreas Transplantation—What to Expect

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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.