If you have type 1 diabetes with kidney failure, a kidney-pancreas transplant can improve your chances of a longer, healthier life. The surgical expertise of doctors at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center allows us to offer this procedure to eligible patients with type 1 diabetes and kidney failure.
Benefits of a Kidney-Pancreas Transplant
Kidney failure, which includes advanced kidney disease and end stage renal disease, is one of the most common complications of type 1 diabetes. Studies show that people with type 1 diabetes and kidney failure have only a 30 to 35% five-year survival rate.
However, with a combined kidney-pancreas transplant, doctors can treat kidney failure and type 1 diabetes. With improvements in medications and surgical techniques, patients who receive this type of transplant have a five-year survival rate of about 85%.
Reduced long-term health risks of diabetes
A kidney-pancreas transplant also reduces long-term health risks associated with diabetes. These risks include:
- Retinopathy (a disease of the retinas that can cause vision loss)
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Nerve damage
Shorter wait time
The waiting time for a combined kidney-pancreas transplant is typically less than 6 months – shorter than the wait for either a kidney or a pancreas alone. There are factors that could make your wait for a pancreas transplant longer than this. Your transplant specialist will talk to you about what to expect when you are seen for your evaluation.
People who receive a combined kidney-pancreas transplant have better outcomes than patients who receive a kidney transplant alone from a deceased donor. These improved outcomes are due to the fact that the new pancreas normalizes their blood sugar, preventing hypoglycemia and reducing potential damage to the kidney as a result of diabetes.
Our Approach to Care for Kidney-Pancreas Transplant
The idea of receiving a combined kidney-pancreas transplant may be daunting. However, our team of specialists guides you through the transplant process and beyond. We work together to help you manage your health, reduce the risk of infection and organ rejection, and return to an active and healthy life.
Our team is here to support you physically and emotionally throughout the entire transplant process. We closely monitor your health from the time of referral and evaluation through post-surgery care and beyond.
Learn more about the pancreas transplant process.
For more information about pancreas transplant or to schedule a transplant evaluation, call 855.925.0631.