Pancreas Transplant 

Pancreas Transplant 

Pancreas transplantation is a type of surgery in which you receive a healthy donor pancreas.

 

A pancreas transplant is an option for some people with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops producing the hormone insulin. The usual treatment for type 1 diabetes involves daily injections of insulin.

During a pancreas transplant, you’ll receive a healthy pancreas from a donor who has died. If you have kidney failure from your diabetes, your surgeon may also do a kidney transplant at the same time. The kidney transplant may be done earlier or even after the pancreas transplant.

What’s unique about a pancreas transplant is that your own pancreas remains in your body. During the surgery, the surgeon will connect the new pancreas to your bladder or to the intestines so its digestive juices can drain. After a successful transplant, you’ll no longer need to take insulin. Instead, the new pancreas will create insulin for you. You can eat a regular diet, too. You’ll have few or no episodes of low blood sugar or insulin shock and your risk for kidney damage will go down.

Who is a candidate for the transplant?

Candidates for pancreas transplantation must have type 1 diabetes along with nerve damage, eye problems, or another complication of the disease. Usually, health providers consider a transplant for someone whose diabetes is out of control despite medical intervention. People with type 2 diabetes still produce some insulin, so a new pancreas would not help them. A pancreas transplant also works best on people without heart or blood vessel disease. If you’re chosen for a transplant, you may be asked to stop smoking or lose weight before the surgery.

What to Expect – Pancreas Transplant

What’s unique about a pancreas transplant is that your own pancreas remains in your body. During the surgery, the surgeon will connect the new pancreas to your bladder or to the intestines so its digestive juices can drain. After a successful transplant, you’ll no longer need to take insulin. Instead, the new pancreas will create insulin for you. You can eat a regular diet, too. You’ll have few or no episodes of low blood sugar or insulin shock and your risk for kidney damage will go down.

Who is a candidate for the transplant?

Candidates for pancreas transplantation must have type 1 diabetes along with nerve damage, eye problems, or another complication of the disease. Usually, health providers consider a transplant for someone whose diabetes is out of control despite medical intervention. People with type 2 diabetes still produce some insulin, so a new pancreas would not help them. A pancreas transplant also works best on people without heart or blood vessel disease. If you’re chosen for a transplant, you may be asked to stop smoking or lose weight before the surgery.

Services

Building on extensive experience and a long history of nationally-recognized care in transplant nephrology and hepatology, we are prepared to manage all aspects of the pancreatic transplant process. We are committed to promoting a patient-centered, multidisciplinary approach to the care of the patient with end-stage organ failure.

Dedication

Our team of professionals is made up of SLUCare physicians, specially-trained nurses, physician assistants, social workers, dietitians, financial coordinators, a dedicated transplant Intensive Care Unit and various administrative personnel.

We are committed to delivering the highest quality care possible, and our outcomes reflect our combined focus on clinical excellence and research. With direct access to our medical team 24/7, patients referred to our Center can expect a smooth process from referral to post-surgery follow-up.

Support

Through small, informal educational sessions, transplant candidates meet team members, talk with transplant recipients, and learn more about kidney transplantation. Our program provides comprehensive support for patients and their families throughout the process – from undergoing a transplant to maintaining a healthy organ.


If you are interested in an evaluation for kidney transplant, we encourage you to download and complete the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Referral Packet and fax it to 314-268-5132 to expedite the process. All patients interested in kidney transplant evaluation will be reviewed by the transplant team.