A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces a diseased or non-functioning pancreas with a healthy one from a deceased donor. The pancreas is a vital organ lie behind the lower part of the stomach, producing insulin and digestive enzymes. A pancreas transplant aims to restore normal pancreatic function and improve overall health in individuals with severe pancreatic disease, typically diabetes
Individuals with severe type 1 diabetes who experience frequent hypoglycemic episodes or have difficulty managing their blood sugar levels despite medical therapy.
Individuals with chronic pancreatitis, a condition characterized by inflammation and scarring of the pancreas, leading to significant pain, malnutrition, and poor quality of life. - Individuals with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure) - Poor blood sugar control on a consistent basis
A functioning pancreas transplant can provide stable and near-normal blood sugar levels, reducing the need for insulin injections and improving diabetes management.
Pancreas transplantation helps get rid of the symptoms like abdominal pain and digestive problems and leads to an improved overall quality of life.
The surgery can eliminate or significantly reduce episodes of low blood sugar, preventing potentially life-threatening complications.
This can work for individuals with both type 1 diabetes and kidney failure.
Pancreas transplant surgery involves three main phases: before, during, and after the procedure.
It consists of 1. Comprehensive medical evaluation including a. Blood tests b. Imaging studies c. Consultations with specialists to assess the overall health and suitability for transplantation.
Once you are eligible for the surgery, you will be placed on a national transplant waiting list to receive a suitable donor pancreas.
The donor pancreas is carefully matched to the recipient based on compatibility factors.
The patient will receive specific instructions regarding fasting, medication management, and lifestyle modifications to prepare for the surgery.
General anesthesia is administered to ensure the patient remains asleep and pain-free throughout the surgery.
A surgical incision is made in the abdomen to access the recipient's pancreas then the pancreas is removed.
The donor pancreas is carefully placed into the recipient's abdomen and connected to the blood vessels and intestines.
The donor pancreas' insulin-producing cells are connected to the recipient's urinary bladder, allowing for the collection and measurement of insulin levels.
The blood vessels of the donor pancreas are connected to the recipient's blood vessels, ensuring proper blood flow to the transplanted organ.
Small drainage tubes may be inserted to remove excess fluid and aid in the healing process.
The incision is closed using sutures or staples.
The initial recovery period typically requires a hospital stay of 1-2 weeks to monitor the patient's progress and manage any complications.
Medications are provided to manage post-operative pain and discomfort.
It is essential to take care of the wound to prevent infection, and individuals receive instructions on how to care for the incision site.
Lifelong immunosuppressive medications are prescribed to prevent organ rejection. These medications suppress the immune system, reducing its ability to attack the transplanted pancreas.
Regular follow-up visits are scheduled to monitor the function of the transplanted pancreas, adjust medications, and address any concerns or complications.
The recovery time after a pancreas transplant varies for everyone. Generally, it takes several weeks to months to fully recover from the surgery and resume normal activities. The transplanted pancreas may take time to function optimally, and close monitoring is required during the early post-transplant period.
The recipient's immune system may recognize the transplanted pancreas as foreign and attempt to reject it. Immunosuppressive medications are prescribed to minimize this risk.
The use of immunosuppressive medications increases the susceptibility to infections.
There are risks of bleeding, blood clots, and damage to surrounding organs.
Immunosuppressive medications may cause side effects such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, and metabolic changes.
Individuals who have diabetes can manage their blood sugar levels through insulin injections or can take the help of insulin pumps.
For individuals with pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatic enzyme supplements can be taken orally to aid in digestion.
Instead of a full pancreas transplant, isolated islet cells from a donor pancreas can be transplanted into the recipient to restore insulin production.
In the case of financial assistance for pancreas transplant surgery, individuals can explore options such as health insurance coverage, government-sponsored healthcare programs, and medical financing options. One such option is the Health EMI card from Bajaj Finserv Health, which provides a convenient way to manage medical expenses and offers benefits that may not be covered by typical insurance plans.
The Health EMI card from Bajaj Finserv Health is designed to assist patients with medical expenses, including surgeries like pancreas transplants. The card allows individuals to choose a preferred hospital and avail the benefits of the card, even if it is not covered by their regular insurance plan. It offers convenient repayment options through easy monthly installments, making it easier to manage the financial aspects of the procedure.