Our transplant surgeons are expert at combined kidney and pancreas transplantation, a life-saving treatment option for patients who have kidney failure related to Type I or juvenile onset diabetes.
This type of transplant treats both kidney failure and diabetes with the new organs replacing the function of the failed kidney and the pancreas. In many cases, both transplanted organs may come from the one deceased donor. However, it is also possible for the kidney to come from a living donor and the pancreas from a deceased donor. For patients who have a living kidney donor, that procedure is done first and the patient remains on the transplant list for a pancreas transplant.
Who is eligible?
Candidates for this procedure are adults, under 45 years of age, whose kidneys have failed because of type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes are not candidates for a combined kidney-pancreas transplant. However, people with this type of diabetes can still have a kidney transplant if they develop kidney failure because of their diabetes.
A kidney and pancreas transplant is about a four hour operation. Patients are usually discharged within 10 days of surgery and require very close post-op monitoring.
The post-operative care of the kidney/pancreas recipient is very similar to the recipient of a kidney alone. The recipient of a kidney/pancreas may spend a day or so in the ICU for careful monitoring of both kidney and pancreas functioning. If there are no complications such as rejection or infection, you should be able to go home in seven to 10 days.
Remember that you will need to take special medicines, called immunosuppressive or anti-rejection medications, following your transplant surgery to help prevent your body from rejecting your newly transplanted organs. It is necessary to take these medications exactly as the doctor prescribes for the rest of your life. In addition, you will have regularly scheduled tests as an outpatient to monitor the function of your transplanted organs and will be encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.