Pancreas Transplant anyone?


(Kristi1967) #1

Recently, it seems as though I'm getting a lot of questions from friends and family about why I don't consider having a pancreas transplant... or at least look into it.  To be honest, I've always thought it would be a much bigger challenge than I was willing to take on....  which brings me to my question ~

Who here knows someone who has had this procedure/transplant?

Was it successful? Eliminating the need for insulin?  or a lifetime of follow-up procedures and anti-rejection medication?

Someone educate me....   please *grin*


(DDrumminMan) #2

No thanks.

I'm going from some info but not a whole lot of research.  My borther-in-law had a kidney transplant. Different organ I know.  But he took anti rejection drugs and said they were horrible.  Made you feel bad.  He even stopped taking them sometimes.  This is not an uncommon phenomenon.  Plus it lowers your immune system.  But by all means look into if you think you might be interested.  Let us know what you find out.


(since030993) #3

I knew a guy who had a pancreas/kidney transplant over 10 years ago.  It was successful.  Normal blood sugars, no more shots.  He was a "brittle" diabetic with kidney failure when he had the procedure.  He took anti-rejection meds by mouth 4 times a day, 5 pills each time. 

I don't work there anymore, so I don't know much else.  Hope this helps!


(system) #4

you're going to need a damn good reason before they give you a transplant :o) your pancreas does a lot more than just produce insulin. it digests fats, spits out hormones.... does a lot for daily living not related to insulin.

pancreas transplants are one of the hardest because of all the numerous functions it performs. it is very easily (and commonly) rejected. i "know" someone (she was the wife of my middle school library teacher) who had a pancreas transplant and it didn't go well for her. she passed away shortly after the surgery. that's also why pancreatic cancer only has a 5% survival rate. the pancreas truly affects EVERYTHING.

there is also the problem with the fact that diabetes is an autoimmune disorder and not just a faulty pancreas. after you have a transplant, how do you keep your immune system from attacking it again? in studies i have read, many people with pancreas transplants (who had t1 before) developed t1 again within 10-20 years after the transplant. if they can shut off the immune system reaction (which they try to do via steroids and anti-rejection meds), they could [potentially] cure diabetes.

in short, it's dangerous and not recommended unless there is no other course of action. for me, i can handle diabetes. i'd rather have a semi-functional pancreas than one that only "might" work. :o)


(ameenk01) #5

My endo has told we that you need to be pretty close to death before they will even consider you for a transplant. He said your kidneys will most likely need to be failing, along with other issues. Don't know if that was true or just his way of getting my mind off the idea. Let us know what you find out because I certainly would do it!!


(since030993) #6

With my pump, I live a pretty "free" life.  Can you imagine needing to take the pills 4-5 times a day?  add in the suppressed immune system?  no thanks.  i'd consider other options first, definately


(Kristi1967) #7

I agree with all of you...   I think, personally, that a transplant would be a HUGE mountain for me.  My life has finally become "easy" and I hate thinking of changing that...  I'm still interested in more knowledge, though...   Thanks


(Mary B) #8

I know from doing my own research that it IS true that you have to have had kidney failure before they will consider you for a transplant.  I am at a point where I have been taking injections for so long that my body has built up a "tolerance" for the insulin.  I also have a considerable amount of scar tissue.  I ALREADY take a handful of pills every night. (cholestorol, blood pressure, thyroid etc) So the idea of pills doesn't bother me.  .  In fact, I feel cheated that because my kidneys haven't failed I don't qualify for any trials, including the transplant.  I'm almost 38 and have had diabetes for almost 32 years.  I would gladly be a guniea pig if it would prolong my life and make it better.


(system) #9

you are still eligible for other other clinical trials like the artificial pancreas