A pancreas transplant is an organ transplant that involves implanting a healthy pancreas (one that produces insulin) into a person whose pancreas no longer can supply sufficient insulin to the body. The healthy pancreas comes from either a deceased donor, or in the form of a partial pancreas from a living donor.
- Heart disease
- Kidney damage
- Nerve damage
- A history of cancer
- Lung disease
- Smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, or other lifestyle habits that can damage the new organ
- Pancreas transplant is also not recommended if the person will not be able to keep up with the many follow-up visits, tests, and medicines needed to keep the transplanted organ healthy.
Pancreas transplant alone,
Simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant (SPK),
Pancreas-after-kidney transplant (PAK) ,
- Stay in the intensive care unit for a couple of days. Doctors and nurses monitor your condition to watch for signs of complications. Your new pancreas should start working immediately, and your old pancreas will continue to perform its other functions.
- If you have a new kidney, it’ll make urine just like your own kidneys did when they were healthy. Often this starts immediately. But in some cases, it may take up to a few weeks to reach normal urine production.
- Spend about a week in the hospital. Once you’re stable, you’re taken to a transplant recovery area to continue recuperating. Expect soreness or pain around the incision site while you’re healing.
- Have frequent checkups as you continue recovering. After you leave the hospital, close monitoring is necessary for three to four weeks. Your transplant team will develop a checkup schedule that’s right for you. During this time, if you live in another town, you may need to make arrangements to stay close to the transplant center.
- Take medications for the rest of your life. You’ll take a number of medications after your pancreas transplant. Drugs called immunosuppressants help keep your immune system from attacking your new pancreas. Additional drugs may help reduce the risk of other complications, such as infection and high blood pressure, after your transplant.