Pancreas Transplant Procedures

Brigham and Women’s Hospital also provides pancreas transplant services:

Simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant (SPK)

SPK is a treatment for insulin-dependent diabetics who also have kidney failure. Approximately 70 percent of pancreas transplants are performed in combination with a kidney transplant. Both the kidney and the pancreas come from the same deceased donor.

Pancreas after kidney transplant (PAK)

A pancreas transplant is sometimes performed for insulin-dependent diabetics who have already had a successful kidney transplant. The pancreas comes from a deceased donor, but the kidney transplant may have been from either a living donor or a deceased donor.

Pancreas transplant alone (PTA)

In the absence of indications for kidney transplantation, pancreas transplantation should only be done in patients who are Type 1 diabetics and have had frequent, potentially life-threatening, complications. Type 1 diabetics without life-threatening complications should continue to control their condition with conventional (non-surgical) treatments.

Type 1 diabetics have poor insulin production, and a healthy pancreas can remedy that issue. A new pancreas, however, is not an effective treatment for improving glucose control, which is the issue in Type 2 diabetics.

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