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School of Medicine
The Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center will work with you to determine whether or not a pancreas transplant is necessary. If you are looking for information on auto islet transplants and pancreatitis, please visit our auto islet section.
- Why would I need a pancreas transplant?
- Am I eligible for a pancreas transplant?
- Can I have a living donor? My family wants to help.
- How long will I wait for a new pancreas?
- What is the surgery like?
A pancreas transplant may be considered if you have Type I diabetes that is difficult to control. For example, you may have blood sugars that swing from high to low, often without warning.
You must go through several medical tests before eligibility is determined. You will meet with a team of physicians and surgeons. The evaluation time takes approximately one to two months.
There are three different types of pancreas transplants
Pancreas Transplant Alone (PTA)
A pancreas-only transplant is performed on patients with Type I diabetes and no kidney problems.
Simultaneous Kidney and Pancreas Transplant (SPK)
This transplant is performed on patients with Type I diabetes and End Stage Renal Disease.
Pancreas After Kidney Transplant (PAK)
Sometimes, a patient who has Type I diabetes and End Stage Renal Disease will have a living kidney donor. In this case, the kidney transplant is performed first, using the living donor's kidney. Then, the patient waits for a deceased donor pancreas to become available.
The waiting time for a pancreas transplant depends on the type of transplant you are expecting. A simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant (SPK) has an average waiting time of one to two years. A pancreas transplant alone (PTA) or a pancreas after kidney transplant (PAK) typically has a wait time of more than two years.
Prior to surgery, you will be asked to review and sign an informed consent form. Pancreas transplant surgery typically takes four to six hours. After surgery, you’ll be placed in the intensive care unit; eventually you’ll be moved to the transplant unit. The average post transplant hospital stay is about two weeks.
Contact us for more information on pancreas transplants.
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