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Auto Islet Transplant Program

The Johns Hopkins Auto Islet Transplant TeamThe Johns Hopkins Auto Islet Transplant Team

Why would I need an auto islet transplant?

An auto islet transplant may be right for you if you need treatment for pain and illness associated with the following:

Approximately 80 percent of patients experience significant reduction, if not resolution, of pain after the pancreas is removed.


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What is Pancreatitis? | Q&A

Vikesh Singh, MD, Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist, explains chronic and acute pancreatitis and its symptoms.

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What are the Treatment Options for Pancreatitis? | Q&A

Vikesh Singh, MD, Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist, explains medical management and surgical treatment options for pancreatitis patients.

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Am I eligible for an auto islet transplant?

Before you can be determined to be eligible for an auto islet transplant, you must first undergo medical testing. You will see a team of physicians: a surgeon, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, nutritionist, and possibly a chronic pain psychiatrist.

Am I a candidate for laparoscopic islet transplant surgery?

Many patients who are candidates for auto islet transplant surgery are also candidates for the laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, approach. Factors which may affect a person's candidacy for the laparoscopic approach include extensive prior surgeries, presence of scar tissue, and body weight.

Pancreas surgeon Marty Makary, M.D. performed the first completely laparoscopic pancreas removal with auto islet transplant in the United States. Since then, Johns Hopkins has the largest amount of experience with this type of operation in the nation.

How long will I wait for an auto islet transplant?

Unlike many other transplants, an auto islet transplant has no wait time. This is because you will not have to wait for donor organs or tissue to become available. The procedure uses your own tissue.

What is the surgery like?

Prior to surgery, you will be asked to review and sign an informed consent form. Auto islet transplant surgery typically takes eight to ten hours. After surgery, you’ll be placed in the intensive care unit for two to four days, and then transferred to another unit for further recovery. The average post transplant hospital stay is 10 – 14 days.

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Auto Islet Transplant Program

Animation explaining the pancreatic auto islet transplantation process with complete removal of the pancreas to treat pancreatitis.

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Our Experts

Medical Director 

Vikesh Singh, M.D.

Surgical Director

Marty Makary, M.D.

Transplant Surgeon

Niraj Desai, M.D.

Islet Transplant Tream

Dan Warren, Ph.D.

Zhaoli Sun, M.D.

Endocrinology Team

Rita Kalyani, M.D.

Erica Hall, CRNP, CDE

GI Motility Specialist

Ellen Stein, M.D.

Transplant Coordinator

Christi Walsh, CRNP

Medical GI Team Nurse

Megan Walker, RN

Administrative Coordinator

Lesley Hightower-Crane


For more information on auto-islet transplants, contact us.

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