Kidney Pancreas Transplant

Sometimes the progression of diabetes becomes so severe that it destroys the pancreas and the kidneys to a point where they are no longer functioning. The pancreas is no longer producing adequate levels of insulin and the kidneys have become so ravaged that they no longer filter fluids. In these cases, it is necessary to perform a transplant of both the pancreas and one kidney.

When performing a dual transplant such as this, the donated organs can come from one of two places. Both organs can be from the same deceased person or the pancreas may be from a family member while the kidney is donated from elsewhere.

There is certain criteria involved in being eligible for this type of dual transplant. For one, the recipient cannot have type 2 diabetes. With type 1, the pancreas is not manufacturing enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. But in type 2, insulin is present, but it is not being properly absorbed into the body's tissues. Therefore, replacing the pancreas would not solve the problem.

Being placed on the donor list may take a year or more to become eligible, but for these individuals there is no other choice. Once the procedure has been performed, patients can expect a good survival rate.

According to the most recent statistics, patients who have undergone the dual transplantation achieved a 94 percent survival rate after the first year, 90 percent after two years and 87 percent after a three year period.

The high success rate is attributed to a number of factors. Successful screening and evaluation of the recipient is crucial. The expertise of the surgical procedure and the on-going follow-up are also relevant. But the most important contributing factor is the use of immunosuppressants to protect against the individual's body rejecting the new organs. Another important area is eliminating post-surgical infections, which can prove to be fatal.

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