Pancreas Transplant Program

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Pancreas Transplant Program is committed to improving the quality of life of our patients with pancreas failure.

A pancreas transplant is an important treatment option for a patient whose type 1 diabetes is uncontrolled, despite medical intervention, or a type 1 diabetic who has kidney failure. For these patients, a successful pancreas transplant will restore normal glucose control and may improve the health of their kidney. Additionally, for some patients with Type 2 Diabetes who meet certain selection criteria, pancreas transplantation can be a good treatment option.

Expanded surgical techniques, improved desensitization (removing antibodies that can cause organ rejection), state-of-the art medical facilities, and our dedicated medical team – all with specialized training in pancreas transplantation – are critical factors in our program’s continued success. We complement this medical expertise with passionate, comprehensive, coordinated, and family-centered care that continues from evaluation and surgery to post-transplant care. Additionally, BWH has established a partnership with Boston Medical Center that will allow patients at both hospitals to benefit from the joint expertise of our pancreas transplant specialists.

Transplantation began at BWH when the world’s first successful human organ transplant, a kidney transplanted from one identical twin to another, was performed here by Joseph Murray, MD, in 1954. Dr. Murray was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1990 to recognize this milestone and the subsequent development of immunosuppressive drugs that made transplantation possible for donors and recipients who are not genetically identical (identical twins).

Since this momentous start, our transplant team has continued to help advance the science of kidney and pancreas transplant surgery and help more and more patients lead healthy and productive lives. Our recent research has focused on improving donor organ quality, individualizing immunosuppression, treating patients with complex medical and immunological histories, and finding the most appropriate organ for a patient.

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