There are three types of whole organ pancreas transplantation:

  • Pancreas transplantation alone
  • Pancreas transplantation combined with kidney transplantation
  • Pancreas transplantation following living donor kidney transplantation

When a donor organ becomes available, the patient will be called and must come to the hospital right away. Surgeons perform pancreas transplants using general anesthesia, so patients are unconscious during the procedure. The surgeon places the new pancreas and a small portion of the donor's small intestine into the lower abdomen. The donor intestine is attached to the patient's small intestine, and the donor pancreas is connected to blood vessels that supply blood to the patient's legs. The patient's own pancreas is left in place to aid digestion.

During the last six years, outcomes in pancreas transplantation have improved markedly due to advancements in immunosuppressant regimens and the increased use of enteric drainage of pancreas secretions. This method allows the pancreas to be connected to the intestine instead of the bladder, where it can cause significant inflammation and toxicity.


Columbia University Medical Center

Renal and Pancreatic Transplant Program
Phone: 212-305-6469

The Pancreas Center
Phone: 212-305-9467

Weill Cornell Medical Center

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs
Phone: 212-746-3099