Do you have insulin-dependent diabetes?
Your doctor must have prescribed a stringent insulin regimen as well as several dietary restrictions.
Accordingly, the doctor might suggest a pancreas transplant to reduce dependence on insulin shots and prevent additional damage to the kidneys and other body organs.
Dr. Gaurav Gupta is a board-certified ASTS abdominal organ transplant surgeon with 15+ years of experience in transplant surgery. Being the Head of Liver Transplant and HPB Surgery at Fortis Hospitals, he has excellent proficiency in performing transplant Surgery’s in Mumbai.
Scroll down to learn more about pancreas transplant
First, let’s know,
What is a Pancreas Transplant, and How Does It Work?
A pancreas transplant is an organ transplant in which the surgeon implants a healthy pancreas into a patient who has a failing pancreas. Usually, a healthy pancreas is obtained from a deceased donor.
Now, let’s see,
What is the Significance of the Pancreas?
The pancreas’ primary job is to make digestive juices and hormones like insulin and glucagon, which help keep blood sugar levels in check and help the body use and store food-derived energy.
The pancreas, which is the size of a human hand, is located after the stomach and before the spine. Along with the intestine, stomach, and other organs, it is present in the abdomen.
The doctor may suggest a pancreatic transplant if the pancreas cannot produce insulin, resulting in Type 1 Diabetes.
Why Go For Pancreas Transplant?
Doctors recommend a pancreas transplant when the pancreas in the body cannot produce insulin or has low insulin levels. Such patients are at high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and diabetic nephropathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that causes blurred vision and eventually blindness. Whereas diabetic nephropathy refers to kidney deterioration and ultimately failure.
Now, let’s understand,
Who is a Good Candidate for Pancreas Transplantation?
Dr. Gaurav Gupta, a recognized practitioner for liver transplant surgery in Mumbai, provides Type 1 diabetic patients with a pancreas transplant.
The organ transplant expert may consider the patient for a pancreatic transplant if:
- Treatments for type 1 diabetes have failed to control the disease.
- Frequent severe insulin reactions.
- Sugar control fluctuations.
- Hypoglycemia unawareness.
Type 2 diabetes patients who are relatively young, have a low BMI, have minimal insulin resistance, and a complication of diabetes such as retinopathy or kidney damage are also suitable candidates for a pancreas transplant.
Types of Pancreas Transplants
1. Pancreas Transplants:
A pancreas transplant may be suggested for a patient with type 1 diabetes who has frequent episodes of hypoglycemia but functional kidneys.
2. Simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney transplant -SPK:
In this sort of transplant, the deceased donor’s kidneys and pancreas are simultaneously transplanted. Doctors consider this form of transplant when a patient’s kidneys are damaged.
3. Pancreas-after-kidney transplant:
In this procedure, the patient requires both the kidney and the pancreas transplant. If the kidney is first available, the transplant will proceed. After the patient heals from the kidney transplant, the doctor plans for a pancreas transplant as soon as a donor pancreas becomes available.
4. Pancreatic islet cell transplant:
In this surgery, insulin-producing cells called islet cells are removed from the pancreas and transplanted into the body via a vein that leads to the liver. Several islet injections may be required at times.
Everything You Need To Know About Pancreas Transplants
- The pancreatic transplant is performed under general anaesthesia. It takes at least three to six hours to complete the surgery.
- The amount of time it takes depends on whether the pancreas is donated alone or in conjunction with a kidney transplant.
- The transplant surgeon will place the new pancreas and the donor’s small intestine in the lower abdomen. The blood vessels that provide blood to the legs are likewise attached to the new pancreas.
- The existing pancreas is left in its original place to aid in the digesting process. The donor’s intestine is connected to the present small intestine or bladder.
After the Pancreas Transplant
- The patient is expected to spend more than a week in the hospital. The first few days will be spent in intensive care.
- The patient would undergo frequent checks for the first three to four weeks after discharge.
- The doctor prescribes the patient anti-rejection drugs, which suppress the immune system. The patient may need to take them for the rest of their life.
- Due to the patient’s weakened immunity, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal drugs will be prescribed.
- If the transplant is successful, the patient must take the immunosuppressant for the rest of their life. In addition, the patient will no longer require insulin.
Complications in Pancreas Transplant
The most serious risk in this procedure is the body’s rejection of the new pancreas. The indications and symptoms of pancreatic rejection are as follows:
- High blood glucose levels
- Tenderness at the area of the transplant
- Abdominal pain
- Reduced urine production
What happens in the case of rejection of the pancreas?
The patient’s insulin injections will have to be restarted. A second pancreas transplant may be attempted if the patient’s body can tolerate the surgery again.
In addition, statistics show that only pancreas transplants have a higher rate of rejection than kidney-pancreas transplants.
Why Choose Dr. Gaurav Gupta?
- Dr. Gaurav Gupta offers comprehensive pancreatic transplants in Mumbai and exceptional medical care and post-transplant management.
- He collaborates closely with patients to evaluate if a pancreas transplant is the best option.
- Dr. Gaurav Gupta is dedicated to improving people’s lives and doing everything in his power to help them.
- He keeps everyone up to date by making accurate diagnoses, holding in-depth discussions with patients and their families to explain the procedure in detail, and conducting transplants to international standards of accuracy and success rate.
- With over 15 years of cumulative expertise, he has conducted hundreds of pancreatic transplants with a good success rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth having a pancreatic transplant?
Successful pancreas transplantation has been shown to improve the quality of life of diabetes patients, notably by eliminating the need for exogenous insulin, many daily blood glucose tests, and many of the dietary limitations imposed by the disease.
What if a pancreatic transplant doesn't work?
If a pancreas transplant fails, the patient will have to resume insulin injections and close blood glucose monitoring to manage their diabetes.
How long after a pancreatic transplant can one live?
People who have had a pancreas transplant usually have an excellent prognosis. After receiving a pancreas transplant, most patients live for years. After then, nearly 9 out of 10 will live for at least five years.
Does the patient have to consume anti-rejection medicines for life?
Yes, the patient will have to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of their life. Weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, excessive or thinning hair growth, osteoporosis, and other adverse effects are common with anti-rejection medications. The patient’s immune system weakens and is at a high risk of infection, including malignancy.
What are the risks associated with a pancreatic transplant?
Organ rejection, transplant failure, hemorrhage, decreased urine production, hyperglycemia, bleeding, blood clots, and other complications are all possible side effects of this surgery.
Why do doctors suggest a pancreas transplant for Type 1 diabetes?
Doctors recommend a pancreas transplant to lessen the patient’s insulin dependency and dietary limitations, with the primary goal of maintaining normal blood sugar levels.
The secondary goal is to avoid or delay diabetic complications like eye problems that lead to blindness and a weaker nerve system, sometimes known as neuropathy, and vascular disorders.