Skip Navigation

COVID-19 Update

Advanced Treatment for Pancreas Disorders advance to content button

Johns Hopkins Auto Islet Transplant Program

Our program provides advanced treatment for a variety of pancreas disorders including pancreatitis.


Why Choose Johns Hopkins Auto-Islet Transplant Program?

Our program provides comprehensive care for all patients. Learn what makes the Johns Hopkins Auto-Islet Program unique:

people in a circle icon graphic

Multidisciplinary Team

Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, endocrinologists and physicians ensure patients receive the best quality care.
surgical gloves and medical symbol

Advanced Treatments

The auto-islet transplant program provides advanced minimally-invasive procedures including laparoscopic surgery, a common procedure for treating pancreatic cancer.
atom icon graphic

Groundbreaking Research

Researchers and physicians continue to make ongoing discoveries in the advancement of chronic pancreatitis treatment and overall improvement of clinical care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about why an auto islet transplant may be necessary.

  • What is the function of the pancreas?
    The pancreas creates digestive enzymes for food digestion and also creates insulin to control your blood sugar level.
  • What is an auto-islet transplant procedure?
    An auto-islet transplant, also known as a total pancreatectomy with auto islet cell transplantation or Islet Autotransplantation, is an operation where your entire pancreas is removed. The pancreas is then processed in a machine that isolates the insulin-producing cells, known as the islets of Langerhans (islets). The isolated cells are placed in an IV bag with a solution. The solution is then infused into the liver.
  • Why would I need an auto islet transplant?

    An auto islet transplant may be required if you need treatment for pain and complications associated from the following disorders

    • Recurrent acute pancreatitis
    • Chronic pancreatitis
    • Hereditary pancreatitis to prevent pancreatic cancer
  • Am I a candidate for laparoscopic islet transplant surgery?
    Patients who are candidates for auto islet transplant surgery may also be candidates for laparoscopic islet transplantation, which is a minimally-invasive procedure. Several factors can affect a person's candidacy for the laparoscopic procedure which include having extensive prior surgeries, presence of scar tissue, and body weight.
  • How long will I wait for an auto islet transplant?
    The auto-islet transplant procedure uses your own tissue so there is no wait time.

Meet Our Specialists

Photo of Dr. Elham Afghani, M.D., M.P.H.

Afghani, Elham, M.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Photo of Dr. Niraj Manubhai Desai, M.D.

Desai, Niraj Manubhai, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery
Surgical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant
Photo of Dr. Jin He, M.D., Ph.D.

He, Jin, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Surgery
Associate Professor of Oncology
Paul K. Neumann Professorship in Pancreatic Surgery
Photo of Dr. Rita Rastogi Kalyani, M.D., M.H.S.

Kalyani, Rita Rastogi, M.D., M.H.S.

Associate Professor of Medicine
Editor-in-Chief, Johns Hopkins Diabetes Guide
Director, Diabetes Management Service, Total Pancreatectomy Islet Auto Transplant Program
Photo of Dr. Martin Adel Makary, M.D., M.P.H.

Makary, Martin Adel, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor of Surgery
Chief, Islet Transplant Surgery
Photo of Dr. Vikesh K Singh, M.D., M.Sc.

Singh, Vikesh K, M.D., M.Sc.

Associate Professor of Medicine
Director, Pancreatitis Center
Medical Director, Pancreatic Islet Autotransplantation Program
Director of Endoscopy, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Photo of Dr. Zhaoli Sun, M.D., Ph.D.

Sun, Zhaoli, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Surgery

Nurse Practitioner Staff

Erica Hall CRNP

Erica Hall, RN, MSN, CRNP, ANP-BC, CDE

Nurse Practitioner and Certified Diabetes Educator
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD

Christi Walsh Picture

Christi Walsh, MSN, CRNP

Nurse Practitioner and Director of Clinical Research
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Baltimore, MD


Learn More About the Auto Islet Procedure

Learn more about the risks, evaluation process and recovery.

  • What are the risks of the procedure?
    As with any other surgery there is a risk of infection, bleeding and a death. Other risks include becoming diabetic and requiring lifelong use of insulin to control blood sugar levels.
  • What is the evaluation process?
    You will meet with several specialists, including a surgeon, a gastroenterologist, an endocrinologist, and other specialists. You will need lab work and the transplant team will meet to discuss your case and eligibility.
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
    You will be in the intensive care unit for approximately 2-4 days after the procedure. You may spend a remainder of 6-10 days in the hospital for adequate rest and healing.
  • What is rehabilitation like?
    When you are discharged from the hospital you will not be able to drive or lift anything over 10 pounds for 6-8 weeks after surgery. You will be able to go up and down steps and should be able to eat a regular diet. You may have a home care nurse assist you if you require insulin.
  • How often do I have to come back to the hospital after the procedure?
    Your follow-up appointments may start two and four weeks after you have been discharged, then three, six, nine, and 12 months post-surgery. Afterwards, you may have one annual follow-up visit.
back to top button