The possibility of having a pancreas transplant can feel overwhelming. Our experienced team understands and is here to support you. Our pancreas transplant program is the largest in the state and will care for you every step of the way with a proven track record of excellent outcomes.
Washington University physicians deliver national leading transplant care at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital. Our transplant center has performed over 200 pancreas transplants. Our skilled transplant team uses their knowledge and experience to provide exceptional care throughout the transplant process.
- Comprehensive type 1 diabetes care: Our transplant surgeons and nephrologists have extensive expertise performing and managing pancreas transplants for type 1 diabetes.
- Excellent outcomes: Our pancreas transplant outcomes consistently meet or exceed national averages.
- Innovative organ acquisition: We work closely with an organ procurement organization (OPO) — Mid-America Transplant — to streamline pancreas transplantation.
- Team approach: Our dedicated transplant team of nurse coordinators, social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, surgeons and nephrologists provide coordinated care throughout the transplant process. You get a seamless experience and are at a decreased risk for infection following surgery.
- Research and innovation: Our partnership with Washington University School of Medicine means we are actively involved in pancreas transplant research. This dedication to research gives you access to the latest innovations in pancreas transplant care.
- Patient and family support: You and your loved ones get access to education, support groups, psychological counseling and our Transplant Mentor Program. In this program, someone who has already had a transplant provides you with information, guidance and emotional support.
We understand that people with type 1 diabetes may experience health problems that significantly affect quality of life.
Our specialists perform several types of pancreas transplants for type 1 diabetes. They can address complications such as severe hypoglycemia (extremely low blood sugar) and brittle diabetes (poorly controlled type 1 diabetes).
Our pancreas transplant outcomes consistently meet or exceed national averages, allowing you to live a full, healthy life. We have completed over 200 pancreas transplants, so you can trust our thorough experience at every step of the transplant process.
We offer several pancreas transplant options:
For this procedure, the pancreas comes from a deceased donor. We may recommend a pancreas-only transplant if you have brittle diabetes or type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemia unawareness.
Organs for a combined kidney and pancreas transplant come from a deceased donor. We complete both organ transplants during one surgical procedure. We may recommend this surgery if you have type 1 diabetes and kidney failure.
This type of transplant consists of two surgeries to manage type 1 diabetes with kidney failure. You first receive a kidney transplant, which can be from a deceased or living donor. Then, you receive a pancreas transplant later.
After pancreas transplant surgery, you can expect to stay in the hospital for a week to 10 days. During your hospital stay, we meet with you as a team to monitor your recovery and answer any questions you may have. You also see physical therapists to help you regain your strength.
Regular exercise can help you return to a normal, active routine. However, you should avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for the first six months after transplant. You may be ready to return to work or school within two to three months, although building your energy and endurance may take longer.
Good nutrition is also essential to aid healing and fight infection. Your dietitian develops an eating plan specific to your health needs.
An organ transplant is life changing for many patients. You don’t need insulin after transplant because your new pancreas produces the insulin your body needs. If you had kidney failure and received a new kidney and pancreas, you don’t need dialysis any longer.
After a successful organ transplant, you get time back to do the activities you love and feel good while doing them.