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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
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.