What is the success rate of the kidney-pancreas double transplant?

After the double transplant is performed, there is an 80 to 85% chance that the patient will require no insulin and no dialysis for one year. In addition, there is a 70% chance that this success will continue over the next five years.

What are the benefits of double organ transplantation?

A successful kidney and pancreas transplant gives you increased strength, stamina, and energy. After transplantation, you should be able to return to a more normal lifestyle and have more control over your daily living. You can have a normal diet and more normal fluid intake.

If you were dependent on dialysis before the transplant, you'll have more freedom because you won't be bound to your dialysis schedule. The pancreas transplant will keep your blood sugar normal. Frequently after transplantation, your blood sugar level before eating will be 90 or less. After a meal, it might reach 140 -- all without insulin. Further complications of diabetes might be delayed with better blood sugar control.

What are the risks of double organ transplantation?

Since two organs are transplanted, the risk of surgical complications is about twice that of a single organ transplant (such as a kidney-only transplant). Since the pancreas is joined to the bladder during the operation, some loss of fluids occurs. You might need to drink more than usual after the transplant surgery in order to prevent dehydration.

There is also a risk of rejection after any type of transplant surgery. Rejection is your body's way of not accepting the new kidney and pancreas. Since your body recognizes the new organs as foreign objects, it will normally try to get rid of them or "reject" them. However, you are given medicines to prevent rejection. You will need to take these medicines for life and have your blood work drawn as scheduled to prevent rejection episodes.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/01/2017.

References

  • Port, Friedrich K. et. al. "Comparison of Survival Probabilities for Dialysis Patients vs. Cadaveric Renal Transplant Recipients." Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 270 (1993), pp. 1339-1343.
  • Stratta, Robert J. et. al. "The Analysis of Benefit and Risk of Combined Pancreatic and Renal Transplantation versus Renal Transplantation Alone." Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics. Vol. 177 (1993), pp. 163-171.

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