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Ask The Expert Archive

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Pancreas transplant Archive Questions

Below are Dr. Leeser’s answers to Pancreas transplant questions
received through the Ask the Expert feature.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended
to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a
health problem. Please consult with your physician about your specific health
care concerns.

Now displaying records 1 to 6 of 6.


Q : 1

Can a person with prediabetes donate a kidney?

That is usually a contraindication to donation.

Q : 2

My husband is 50 and experiencing increased neuropathy. Can he still be a candidate for a pancreas transplant and how do we apply?

If he is a Type 1 diabetic, and if he has kidney disease caused by the diabetes, then he can probably be a candidate for pancreas transplant. If he does not have kidney disease and has mild to moderate neuropathy, then he is probably not a candidate for pancreas transplant.

Q : 3

My 4-year-old son was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Would he be able to receive a pancreatic transplant?

Pancreas transplants are generally reserved only for diabetics who have developed other problems, such as kidney failure, so that they receive a combined kidney and pancreas transplant. Diabetes treatments and insulin are now so good, and because the side effects of the transplant and of the transplant medications are greater, young children are never recommended for pancreas transplant alone.

Q : 4

My daughter has brittle type 1 diabetes. Would she be eligible for a transplant?

In general, pancreas transplants are given to brittle type 1 diabetics who also have kidney failure. Occasionally, we may consider pancreas transplants in brittle type 1 diabetics who have severe hypoglycemic unawareness or who have severe peripheral sensory neuropathy.

Q : 5

I currently have pancreatic cancer and am going through chemo and radiation. Do you do transplants for patients like me?

Unfortunately, pancreas transplantation does not help in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Therefore, neither we nor any other institution performs pancreas transplants in patients with pancreatic cancer.

Q : 6

I have had diabetes for 18 years and have become resistant to insulin. Would I be a candidate for a pancreas transplant? Why do patients have to wait until they're sick for transplants?

If you are a true Type I Diabetic, then a pancreas transplant is often of great use. If you are resistant to insulin, particularly if your body-mass index (BMI) is high, then a pancreas transplant may not work. The rejection rate of pancreas transplants is relatively high and the medications to prevent rejection also cause some significant side effects. Thus to balance the risks and benefits of the treatments, we usually wait until someone has developed a complication of diabetes before considering them for transplant.


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