The MUSC Transplant Center in Charleston, SC offers some of the nation's most cutting-edge pancreatic transplant procedures.
Since the early 1990s when MUSC performed South Carolina's first Simultaneous Pancreas and Kidney (SPK) transplant, hundreds of patients have benefited from our expertise in this complex procedure. MUSC also performs pancreas transplants alone (PTA) and pancreas transplants after the kidney has be transplanted (PAK) for patients who have insulin dependent diabetes with severe complications.
Our pancreas transplant outcomes are comparable to the national average, with some of the lowest mortality rates for patients on our pancreas wait list. The average pancreas transplant waiting time is among the shortest in the nation.
Contact the MUSC Transplant Center to schedule appointments or ask questions about MUSC's pancreas transplantations.
Individuals who have insulin-dependent diabetes accompanied by advanced, chronic renal failure, or who are on dialysis may be good candidates for a simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant (SPK). SPK is a transplant procedure where both a kidney and a pancreas are transplanted at the same time using organs from a deceased donor. The procedure frees patients from dialysis and insulin dependency.
Patients who are eligible for SPK typically have:
Individuals who have insulin dependent diabetes and a documented progression of secondary complications, despite intensive medical intervention may be eligible for either a pancreas transplant alone (PTA) or a pancreas transplant after a kidney transplant (PAK). Among their symptoms are:
Patients are not good candidates for pancreas transplantation if they have:
It is strongly advocated for all potential pancreas transplant patients that they not smoke.
After the evaluation, eligible patients are placed on the UNOS transplant waiting list. Generally, a pancreas from a deceased donor becomes available within two to three years. The MUSC Transplant Center’s wait times for an available pancreas are among the shortest in the nation. For information about wait times and outcomes, please see the U.S. Transplant web site.
UNOS has a pre-determined process for allocating organs from deceased donors to eligible transplant candidates. MUSC physicians do not decide who is next to receive a pancreas from the transplant waiting list.
Patients and caregivers will attend an extensive education class where they will learn the necessary steps to take in planning for a transplant. These classes are held frequently at locations throughout the state and cover:
In general, a patient must be ready to come to the MUSC Transplant Center in Charleston when he or she receives a call stating that a pancreas is available. At that time the patient will be reminded about what to bring.
After transplant surgery, patients will remain in the hospital until they are ready to go to a nearby hotel. Length of stay in the hospital depends on the patient’s health, how well the new pancreas is working, and the patient’s ability to care for the new pancreas.
Patients and their caregivers will receive pre- and post-transplant educational materials. They will learn:
Our goal at the MUSC Transplant Center is to provide the patient and family with key information about the pre-transplant evaluation and listing process, transplant surgery and post-transplant care so the patient can make an informed decision about transplant and successfully participate in their post-transplant care.
The information will be provided before wait list placement and again before transplant surgery. Patients are asked to review and sign a Patient Acknowledgement Form, indicating they have reviewed and understand all of the key information.
To contact the MUSC pancreas transplant program, please call 843-792-4177.