Experts at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute provide specialized care for people who need a pancreas or a pancreas–kidney transplant, including some people with diabetes and those who have type 1 diabetes and kidney disease that requires dialysis.
When a Pancreas Transplant Is Needed
Not everyone who has diabetes needs a pancreas transplant. Those who may benefit include the following:
- people with type 1 diabetes who need a kidney transplant or who have already received a kidney transplant
- people with type 1 diabetes who also experience hypoglycemic unawareness—very low blood sugar levels with no physical symptoms until they lose consciousness
- people with type 2 diabetes who have a low total daily insulin requirement
Benefits of a Pancreas Transplant
A successful pancreas transplant leaves patients insulin independent and eliminates the need to follow diabetic dietary restrictions or regularly check blood sugars. Some pancreas transplant recipients experience fewer and less severe episodes of diabetes symptoms, such as numbness in their feet and hands.
Types of Pancreas Transplant We Offer
Doctors at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute offer three options for pancreas transplant. Your transplant team helps you to decide which is the best for you.
Simultaneous Pancreas–Kidney Transplant
In a simultaneous pancreas–kidney transplant, often referred to as SPK, a person receives a pancreas and a kidney transplant at the same time with organs from a deceased donor.
Pancreas After Kidney Transplant
In pancreas after kidney transplant, or PAK, a person receives a kidney transplant from a living donor and then, after several months of recovery, has a second surgery to receive a pancreas transplant from a deceased donor.
Pancreas Transplant Alone
People who have type 1 diabetes without kidney disease who experience life-threatening episodes of hypoglycemic unawareness may be candidates for a pancreas transplant alone, or PTA.
Pancreas Transplant Evaluation
You may be referred to the Transplant Institute by your endocrinologist or nephrologist, or you may contact us yourself. During your first visit, our team determines whether a pancreas or pancreas–kidney transplant is appropriate for you by conducting an evaluation.
During this day-long medical visit, you meet with several members of the transplant team, including a surgeon, nephrologist, social worker, nutritionist, and nurse coordinator. These experts guide you through the evaluation. You also complete blood and urine tests, a chest X-ray, a CT scan of your abdomen and pelvis, and specialized heart testing. Additionally, we require all transplant candidates to have age-appropriate cancer screenings, such as colonoscopy, mammogram, or Pap test.
If our experts decide that you are a good candidate for a pancreas or pancreas–kidney transplant, we help you through the process in several ways. For people with end-stage kidney disease who have a potential living kidney donor, we facilitate evaluation of your donor and perform the living donor kidney transplant. After you recover from surgery, we place you on the deceased donor waitlist for a pancreas transplant.
If you do not have a living kidney donor, we add you to the pancreas transplant waitlist until a matching kidney and pancreas from the same deceased donor are available.
In the months following a pancreas transplant, you have regular checkups with experts at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute. Over time, we transition your care back to your nephrologist or primary care physician but remain a resource for you and your physician to ensure that you remain in good health.
We offer pancreas transplant evaluations and pre- and post-transplant outpatient care in Manhattan and on Long Island at NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island and NYU Langone Surgical Associates—1300 Franklin Avenue.