Patients identified as pancreas transplant candidates undergo an extensive evaluation by the Penn transplant team to determine if transplant is the best treatment option.
Since most pancreas transplant candidates have varying degrees of health problems, their pre-transplant evaluations are more extensive and individualized. Many patients with type diabetes suffer from kidney failure as a result of their disease, so most of the pancreas transplant surgeries performed at Penn Medicine are simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants.
The pancreas transplant evaluation at Penn Transplant Institute is usually completed in a one-day outpatient visit, although some additional consultations or testing may be required at a later time. The evaluation period allows patients and their families to meet members of the pancreas transplant team and obtain information about pancreas transplantation.
During this initial visit, the patients and families meet with a transplant nurse coordinator and receive detailed information about transplant preparation, health management during the waiting period, anti-rejection medications and an overview of the transplant process.
If the transplant team decides that transplant is the best option and patients agree, patients are "listed for transplant."