Evaluation for Pancreas Transplant
Receiving an organ transplant can be one of the most positive experiences of your life, improving your health and brightening your outlook. But at times it can be physically and emotionally draining.
A transplant offers more independence and a longer and better quality of life. With a transplant, there are fewer restrictions on what you can eat and drink, and an overall boost in energy, all of which support a more active lifestyle. You will need frequent medical supervision after your transplant, but this intense care will gradually lessen over time.
Please understand that a transplant is a treatment and not a cure. You must be committed to transplantation as a form of treatment in order for you to embrace and manage the complexities of your care.
The main goals of the initial consultation are to:
- Determine if a pancreas transplant is right for you, and if so, which type of transplant is best - simultaneous pancreas/kidney, pancreas after kidney, or pancreas alone
- Determine if you are healthy enough to receive a new pancreas
- Prepare you for your operation. This can take a long time, and there is no guarantee when a deceased donor pancreas will become available
Healthcare Professionals You Will See
When we evaluate you for a transplant, you will see a number of healthcare professionals:
- Transplant nephrologist (medical kidney specialist)
- Transplant surgeon
- Cardiologist (if needed; for example, if you have a history of coronary artery disease or a positive stress test)
- Transplant nurse coordinator
- Social worker
- Financial coordinator
The cardiac work-up, which includes EKG, echocardiography and exercise stress testing, is an especially important step in the pancreas evaluation because many people with type 1 diabetes frequently have asymptomatic (without symptoms) coronary artery disease and could be at risk for a cardiac event during or after surgery.
People with hepatitis will see a hepatologist (a doctor who specializes in liver disease) and may also see our infectious disease specialist.
Transplant evaluation is an outpatient process. While many of the tests will be performed at the Transplant Institute, some can be done at a hospital or clinic closer to your home.