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Pancreas Transplant For Patients With Diabetes Mellitus

For patients who are suffering from the complications of Type 1 diabetes, including kidney failure, and selected Type 2 diabetes patients, our pancreas transplant team is here to help. Members of our pancreas team will help determine your eligibility for a pancreas transplant.

What are the problems with diabetes?

Diabetes in the long-term affects blood vessels and nerves, and therefore can affect any part of the body. Diabetic complications will usually take a number of years of poorly controlled diabetes to develop. People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing other health problems including heart disease, eye problems (retinopathy), kidney failure (nephropathy), stroke, poor circulation, foot ulcers, numbness and tingling in their hands and feet (neuropathy), repeated infections, and stomach problems (gastropathy). Sometimes having low blood sugars without any warning (hypoglycemic unawareness) may put the diabetic at risk of having major life-threatening events, if they are unable to obtain immediate medical assistance. The life expectancy in patients with diabetes is reduced by up to 15 years predominantly due to damage to the heart and blood vessels.

What does a pancreas do?

Pancreas is an organ located in the tummy, just below the stomach and drains its secretions into the intestines. Two main functions of pancreas are to produce juices that help with digestion of food and to produce insulin, which regulates the blood sugars in the body. Without insulin, the body's cells cannot use glucose in the blood, and the person then becomes diabetic.

What is a pancreas transplant?

A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor into a person whose pancreas no longer functions properly. A successful pancreas transplant can help the patient to achieve normal glucose levels, that they will no longer need to inject insulin.

What are the types of pancreas transplant?

Combined pancreas and kidney transplant.

More than two-thirds of pancreas transplants worldwide are performed combined with a kidney transplant for people whose kidneys have been damaged by diabetes. This is done for patients who either have already started dialysis or are nearing dialysis.

Pancreas after a kidney transplant.

Pancreas after a kidney transplant. This is done for patients with diabetes who have already had a kidney transplant (from a living or deceased donor).

Pancreas transplant alone.

This is usually done for diabetic patients who experience erratic blood sugar control (such as hypoglycemic unawareness) despite taking insulin. These patients have normal or near normal kidney function.

Am I suitable for a pancreas transplant?

You may be considered for a pancreas transplant if you have any of the following:

  • Type 1 diabetes that cannot be controlled with standard treatment
  • Consistently poor blood sugar control
  • Severe kidney damage
  • Frequent insulin reactions
  • Type 2 diabetes associated with both low insulin resistance and low insulin production

Medications after pancreas transplant

After a pancreas transplant, you will take medications for the rest of your life to help prevent your body from rejecting the donor pancreas. Because medications to suppress the immune system make the body more vulnerable to infection, doctor may also prescribe antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal medications, for a short period after the transplant. You will be monitored for the rest of your life to ensure safe levels of immunosuppression medications.

Benefits after Pancreas transplant

  • You will no longer need insulin injections
  • You will be able to eat a regular diet
  • You will have fewer or no reactions from low blood sugar or insulin
  • You can be more active or independent
  • You will no longer need dialysis (if you have had kidney transplant along with pancreas)

To check if you are suitable for a pancreas transplant. Please make an appointment with the diabetes specialist / pancreas transplant surgeon.

For appointment & queries 98408 67188 / 044-6666 7777

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