900 people in the United States are waiting for a new pancreas.
A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy pancreas into a person whose pancreas no longer functions properly. The transplanted pancreas almost always comes from a deceased donor; however, a partial pancreas transplant may be possible from a living donor. Nearly all pancreas transplants are done to treat type 1 diabetes.
The side effects of a pancreas transplant can be significant, so a pancreas transplant is typically reserved for those who have serious diabetes complications. A pancreas transplant is often done in conjunction with a kidney transplant.
Pancreas transplant patients may be in the intensive care unit for a few days and spend, on average, a week in the hospital.
Transplant recipients may take a number of medications after transplant, many for the rest of their lives. The medications help reduce the risk of complications after transplant.
For more information about organ allocation, visit the UNOS website.
References: TransplantLiving.org, UNOS.org, OPTN.transplant.HRSA.gov and MayoCinic.org
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