Why Choose Us?
As a leader in pancreas transplantation for patients with Type 1 diabetes, Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) Transplantation Institute performs solitary pancreas transplants and pancreas after kidney transplants. With our unmatched expertise, LLUMC performs the more complex kidney-pancreas transplants with over 180 transplants to-date. Our experience, research and multidisciplinary approach to patient care provides diabetic patients with freedom from insulin shots and dialysis and a higher quality of life. The Pancreas Transplant Team is devoted to every single patient, demonstrating compassion, concern and accessible patient care throughout all stages of your transplant journey.
About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a nationwide epidemic, affecting more than one million Americans. It occurs when the body does not produce insulin, a hormone found in the pancreas which converts sugar into energy. In general, Type 1 diabetes is referred to as an autoimmune disease. This means a patient’s immune system will mistakenly destroy beta cells which produce insulin in the pancreas. As a result, patients with Type 1 diabetes need insulin shots to keep their blood sugar under control. Otherwise, diabetics are confronted with serious health complications including:
- Kidney failure
- Nerve damage
- Hardening of the arteries
- Lower-extremity amputations
Diabetes is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, significantly increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Pancreas transplantation is suited for treating Type 1 diabetes, restoring and replacing the diabetic patient’s beta cells. Patients with successful pancreas transplant can have a higher quality of life with:
- Freedom from insulin treatment
- Fewer dietary and activity restrictions
- Lower or eliminated risk of low blood sugar reactions
Am I a Candidate?
Pancreas or kidney-pancreas transplant aspirants undergo medical tests such as tissue typing, blood tests and blood screenings. Our multidisciplinary transplant team will discuss any medical or psychological issues and determine whether pancreas or kidney-pancreas transplantation is right for you. Patients must meet the requirements below:
- Between age 18 to 55
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Demonstrate an ability to follow a medical regimen and recommendations provided by the transplant team
- Understand transplantation risks and benefits
- Able to withstand the surgical procedure and immunosuppression
You will not be considered for transplantation surgery if you’ve had a history of heart attack and stroke, poor circulation, metastatic cancer, active infection or other severe medical conditions.
Types of Transplants
Through a multidisciplinary approach, our transplant teams collaborate to discuss every patient’s case and determine the best transplant option. At the Transplantation Institute, there are three types of pancreas procedures that we offer:
- Solitary Pancreas Transplant – a procedure performed on patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes which cannot be controlled or causes serious problems. Patients who receive a solitary pancreas transplant have healthy kidney function. Through transplantation, they may reduce their risk for kidney disease and other diabetic complications.
- Simultaneous Kidney-Pancreas Transplant – a procedure for patients who suffer from Type 1 diabetes and have significant kidney disease. During the same operation, the patient receives a kidney and pancreas from the same deceased donor. It provides diabetics with end-stage kidney disease the greatest hope for life without dialysis and insulin injections.
- Pancreas After Kidney Transplant – a procedure for diabetic patients who have a functioning kidney transplant. They require a pancreas transplant to improve blood sugar control and prevent potential diabetic complications.
LLUMC Pancreas Transplant Team’s skills and experience are demonstrated through our individual transplant center data. Visit the third party resources below to see how LLUMC Transplantation Institute’s Pancreas Transplant Program compares with other transplant centers on a regional and national level in categories such as wait times, number of transplants performed, survival rates, organ donation and recovery.
- United Network for Organs Sharing (UNOS): A private, nonprofit organization that coordinates the nation’s organ transplant system, providing vital services to patients awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. For more information or data related to LLUMC Transplantation Institute’s statistics and performance, visit http://www.unos.org/data/.
- Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR): A national database of transplantation statistics including organ donation, waiting list candidates, transplant recipients and survival rates. The registry exists to support the ongoing evaluation of scientific and clinical status of solid organ transplantation in the United States. For center-specific statistics on LLUMC’s transplant program, visit SRTR Transplant Program and OPO Specific Reports or click on the transplant program statistics below.
With the accessibility of our facilities and ease of scheduling an appointment, LLUMC’s compassionate staff is dedicated to providing you with whole-person care. Our commitment to the well-being of your mind, body and spirit begins with your request for an appointment. Make an appointment by calling us toll-free at 1-800-548-3790 or locally at 909-558-3636, by filling out our online request form or by visiting our facilities today.