After your pancreas transplant, you will need to return to Tampa General Hospital for regular visits. For the first six weeks, you must remain within a one-hour driving distance of Tampa General Medical Group’s Transplant & Specialty Services location at 409 Bayshore Blvd. If you live outside the Tampa Bay area, your transplant team can help you make arrangements with a local hotel, so that returning to the hospital for your follow-up appointments will be easier. Staying in TGH’s Transplant House could also be a possibility. If you were very sick before your transplant, you may first be discharged to a rehabilitation facility for a short time post-transplant, where you can regain your physical strength before returning home. Regardless of where you stay after your procedure, you will need to have a friend or family member drive you to TGH for your appointments. This care partner should also be able to help you with complex medical care while you recover from your pancreas transplant at home.
Returning to the hospital for routine assessments allows us to monitor your response to your pancreas transplant. During these visits, your transplant team will track your progress and take note of any potential issues that need to be addressed. For instance, your team might:
- Perform a physical exam to check for signs of infection or rejection
- Ask about any side effects you are experiencing with your medications
- Take blood samples for further lab work
Additionally, we’ll review your medication list and vital signs recordings (weight and blood pressure), so be sure to bring that information to each appointment.
For the first three months after your pancreas transplant operation, you may need to schedule these visits as often as twice per week. From there, the frequency may gradually decrease, as the risk for organ rejection and other complications also goes down over time.
While each patient’s needs will vary, a typical hospital visitation schedule for pancreas transplant patients can look something like this:
- Twice weekly visits for the first three months after transplant
- Weekly visits in the fourth, fifth, and sixth months after transplant
- Twice monthly visits in the seventh, eighth, and ninth months after transplant
- Monthly visits in the 10th, 11th, and 12th months after transplant
- One visit each year thereafter
Even while you are returning to the hospital for your pancreas transplant check-ups, you will still need to have regular appointments with your nephrologist, endocrinologist, and general physician.
To learn more about the exam schedule after your pancreas transplant, contact the pancreas transplant coordinator toll free at 1-800-505-7769 (press 5 for the pancreas transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the transplant coordinator directly at (813) 844-8686. Tampa General Hospital's Transplant Institute is ranked #5 in the U.S. by organ transplant volume, making it one of the busiest transplant centers in the nation.