The UF Health Shands Pancreas Transplant Team has performed more than 100 transplants in the last nine years.
Pancreas transplantation is one option available for people with Type I diabetes mellitus. A successful transplant can eliminate the need for insulin and return you to a more normal lifestyle. However, the success of the transplant depends on you.
There are three types of pancreas transplants.
- Simultaneous pancreas and kidney
- Pancreas after kidney
- Isolated pancreas only
Simultaneous pancreas and kidney is an option for patients with diabetes and end-stage renal disease who may or may not be on dialysis.
Pancreas after kidney transplant is an option for patients who have already received a kidney transplant and have diabetes.
Isolated pancreas transplant is a treatment option for the patient with type I diabetes mellitus who does not have renal disease. These patients usually have very severe hypo/hyperglycemic episodes or the severe, disabling complications of type I diabetes and have trouble with daily living.
Pancreas transplantation is not a treatment option for patients with type II diabetes mellitus at this time. In type II diabetes mellitus, the pancreas produces insulin, but the body's cells have a relatively low sensitivity to the insulin and therefore are unable to use the insulin in a beneficial manner. People with type II diabetes suffer from constant hyperglycemia despite the insulin produced by their pancreas and usually have to take oral medication to control their blood sugar.
Your pancreas will not be removed. The new pancreas will be placed in the lower abdomen and connected to the intestines. If you are receiving a kidney and a pancreas they will both be placed in the lower abdomen.
Pancreas recipients usually stay in the hospital for seven to 10 days. During this time, your medications will be regulated and you will be closely watched for signs of rejection and infection. You will also be given information on how to care for your new organ.