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Conditions for Receiving a Pancreas Transplant at TGH

illustration of the pancreas in the bodyA pancreas transplant is used to treat several conditions that can result in failure of the pancreas and/or kidneys. When the pancreas fails, it doesn’t produce the insulin necessary to regulate blood sugar, leading to diabetes. Approximately one-third of people who develop type 1 diabetes will also develop renal disease within 15 years as a complication. This can lead to kidney failure, which warrants dialysis treatment to filter waste products from the blood. Renal failure, which can be diagnosed as acute renal failure or chronic renal failure, can also cause pronounced swelling of the body; higher levels of acid, phosphate, and potassium; lower levels of calcium; and sometimes anemia. These changes can affect bone health and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Because the health of the kidneys and the pancreas are so closely related, many patients who receive a pancreas through Tampa General Hospital’s Pancreas Transplant Program also receive a kidney at the same time, often within the same day. While being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or chronic kidney disease (CKD) doesn’t necessarily mean that a patient should be recommended for an organ transplant, many of our pancreas transplant patients are affected by those conditions. In fact, any adult diagnosed with type 1 diabetes who also has severe CKD or renal disease (requiring dialysis) can be considered for transplant evaluation. In addition to experiencing pancreas failure, CKD, or kidney failure, most of the patients who are admitted into our pancreas transplant program also meet the following conditions:

  • They require insulin injections
  • They are 55 or younger
  • They have no advanced heart or vascular diseases
  • They have appropriate financial and social support
  • They have no uncontrolled psychiatric disorders

kidney and pancreas referral form buttonPatients who meet these conditions may be recommended to Tampa General Hospital’s Pancreas Transplant Program by their physician. A physician-completed pancreas transplant referral form is required for a patient to be considered for evaluation. It should be noted that the above are general guidelines for being listed on Tampa General’s pancreas transplant waiting list, and our health care team will evaluate every patient individually, based on his or her medical history, the information provided in the referral form, current health status, and other factors.

Tampa General Hospital's Transplant Institute is ranked #5 in the nation for overall organ transplants by volume, making us one of the busiest centers in the U.S.