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  • Rhode Island Hospital Division of Organ Transplantation

  • Pancreas Transplantation

  • Pancreas transplantation has become the treatment of choice  for select people with Type I diabetes (juvenile onset) and renal failure.  Pancreas transplantation is not indicated for patients with well-controlled type I diabetes (no organ failure) or patients with type II diabetes (adult onset).

    When a person has type I diabetes and kidney failure he/she should be evaluated for both a kidney and pancreas transplantation. If you are approved as a candidate for both kidney and pancreas transplantation this can be achieved in one of two ways.

    For people who have a potential live kidney donor, we recommend proceeding first with living donor kidney transplantation. This can be followed by a pancreas after kidney transplantation (PAK) at a second operation. In all cases, the pancreas comes from a deceased organ donor. Usually the second operation is done 6 months to 2 years following the live donor kidney transplant procedure.

    For people who do not have a potential live kidney donor, we recommend proceeding with a simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplantation (SPK). This is a single surgery where you receive both a kidney and a pancreas from a deceased organ donor.

    The hospital stay is typically 7 to 10 days following pancreas transplantation. Recovery following hospital discharge and long-term follow-up is similar to kidney transplantation.

    Following pancreas transplantation there is an 85% chance your pancreas will be working at the end of the first year for SPK and an 80% chance your pancreas will be working at the end of the first year for PAK.