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Pancreas Transplant

Pancreas Transplant

Patients in need of a pancreas transplant no longer have to leave Mississippi to receive treatment. Evaluation, surgery, and follow-up for adults in need of a new pancreas are offered through University Transplant and the state's only transplant center. The specialized care team of experienced surgeons and healthcare providers focuses on personalized, family-centered care.

Pancreas transplantation

A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure performed to provide a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor who matches a recipient's blood and tissue types. The recipient's pancreas is left in place, and the donor organ is attached separately.

The pancreas is located behind the lower part of the stomach. One of its main functions is to make insulin, a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) into a person's cells. Type 1 diabetes results when the pancreas can no longer make enough insulin, which causes blood sugar to rise to harmful levels. 

A transplant often is the last hope for a person with serious pancreas dysfunction. Most pancreas transplants are done to treat cases of otherwise unmanageable Type 1 diabetes. 

Other causes for a pancreas transplant include:

  • Frequent insulin reactions
  • Consistently poor blood sugar control resulting in frequent, life-threatening low blood sugar
  • Severe kidney damage

Types of pancreas transplants

  • The majority of pancreas transplants are performed simultaneously with a kidney transplant in a procedure known as a simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant (SPK).
  • If the pancreas is attached after a separate kidney transplantation, it is referred to as a pancreas-after-kidney transplant (PAK).
  • Some cases call for a simultaneous-pancreas-living kidney transplant (SPLK), a procedure where the pancreas from a deceased donor and a kidney from a live donor are simultaneously transplanted into a recipient.

Decidated transplant care

At University Transplant, we are by each patient's side, every step of the way, from evaluation through wait-listing and surgery, and for many years after transplantation.

University Transplant offers a patient-led support group for all transplant patients. The support group meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month in the conference room located on the second floor of University Heart. For more information, contact facilitator Tammy Thomas.