A pancreas transplant is a surgical method performed to replace a pancreas that is not working correctly with a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor. Most pancreas transplants are done for patients with type I diabetes. This offers a potential cure for a patient with this condition. However, a pancreas transplant is usually reserved for patients with severe complications of diabetes because the side effects of this transplant can be significant.
Various ailments may affect the functioning of the pancreas and may generate a need for pancreas transplants. Although the pancreas transplant offers a potential cure for patients with type I diabetes, the side effects of anti-rejection medications needed post-transplant must outweigh the benefits of getting the transplant. Usually, for a patient suffering from one or more of the below-mentioned conditions, a pancreas transplant is considered a viable option. Some of the similar conditions are listed below:
There are different ways in which pancreas transplant is performed depending upon the situation and conditions from which patient is suffering. Below are some of the conditions which may require you to go for pancreatic transplant:
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Sometimes, it can be challenging to find a donor within a short period. Pancreas is usually taken from a person who has been declared as brain-dead but remains on a life-support system. The donor needs to meet the transplant criteria like being healthy and being of a specific age. The donor’s organ also needs to match the recipient immunologically with the recipient’s body. This is crucial to reduce the risk of organ rejection.
Sometimes, the pancreas is taken from a living donor. This usually happens when the transplant recipient can find a donor who is a twin or a close relative. In such cases, donors give a part of their pancreas and not the whole organ.
While you are on a waiting list to find a suitable donor, you have to take few adequate measures to take care of yourself by practicing:
Before undergoing this procedure, you may need to undergo evaluation, which includes:
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As with every surgery, the risk of complications is there, and a pancreas transplant is no exception. However, it is not always mandatory that a patient develops these complications, but it is good to be aware of them. Below are some of the common complications linked with pancreas transplant:
After the surgery is completed, patients are taken to a recovery room for few hours, where they will be under observation. Once your doctor feels you are in stable condition, you will be shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU), where you will be observed closely, and your vitals will be monitored. The doctors will also check that other organs like the liver, lungs, and circulatory system are all working. Anti-rejection medicines will be administered and closely watched to ensure that the patients get the right dose and mix the right medication.
When the doctor feels you are stable, you will be shifted to a normal ward. Gradually, the patient will be able to move and walk around for a long duration. The doctor will then teach you how to take care of yourself when you go home.
A Pancreas transplant can significantly improve the quality of life of the patients. However, there are certain practices and measures that you need to follow to live a normal life.
With progress in medicine, the life expectancy of patients undergoing pancreas transplants is also progressing. In comparison to the last decade, the life expectancy of patients has improved.
Some lifestyle modifications can help you in preventing the conditions which may generate a need for pancreas transplant. Below are some of the lifestyle modifications that you may need to practise:
It is essential to learn about different transplant hospitals and centers before finalizing the one. Here are few things to keep in mind while choosing a transplant hospital/center:
Living with a disease that badly affects your life is an extremely painful experience both for the patient and his family. Getting a Pancreas transplant can certainly improve the quality of life of the patient. The average cost of Pancreas transplants in India varies between 15 lakh approximately. It is crucial to check with the insurance company whether the transplant cost is covered in your plan. Various factors that will affect the cost are:
A patient who travels from home to hospitals for transplant also needs to keep the cost of staying near the new city's hospital. The cost of staying also adds up over the course of a few months.