Overview of Pancreatic Transplant Treatment

Pancreatic transplant is a surgical procedure in which the diseased or damaged pancreas is replaced with healthy pancreas from a deceased donor. Pancreas is the organ that is present in the left side of the body just behind the lower part of the stomach. The function of the pancreas is to secrete some hormones like insulin that controls the blood sugar level and it also helps in digestion. When the normal function is no longer performed by the pancreas due to some disease, it needs to be transplanted. Pancreatic transplant is usually performed when the other treatment options and medications fail to cure the disease or when the pancreatic damage is so extensive that it can’t be cured. Pancreatic transplant treatment is performed in the diabetic patients in which the deficiency of insulin can lead to severe diabetes. Pancreatic transplant with kidney transplant is often done in the patients when the kidney functions become severely affected by diabetes. The body can reject the new pancreas due to genetic differences so it is advisable to receive pancreas from close relatives to prevent this rejection. After transplant, a gradual increase in physical activity and exercise can strengthen the body which helps in speeding the recovery process. This can help in improving physical health alongside mental health of the patient.

Types of Pancreatic Transplant Treatment

There are different types of pancreatic transplant. Some of these are:

  • Pancreas-only transplant
  • Simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney transplant
  • Pancreas-after-Kidney transplant
  • Pancreas Islet Cell Transplantation

Pancreas-only Transplant

The pancreas is transplanted into individuals with type 1 diabetes and kidneys with normal functions. It helps in maintaining the blood sugar levels. After the Pancreas-only transplant, there will be no need for insulin injections.

Simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney Transplant

In this type of pancreatic transplant, the pancreas and kidneys are donated from a deceased donor to the patient who is suffering from severe diabetes and end stage kidney disease. Both the transplanted pancreas and kidneys then provide normal functioning in the body to lower the symptoms of the patient and to cure the disease. 

Pancreas-after-Kidney Transplant

When the kidney transplant procedure leads to pancreatic failure due to some complications of diabetes, then there is a need to transplant pancreas also right after the kidney transplant. It is usually performed when the kidney transplant leads to severe complications of diabetes and cannot be treated with medications or injections.

Pancreas Islet Cell Transplantation

Pancreas islet cells are the cells that produce insulin. In diabetes when these cells are damaged but all the other parts of the pancreas are intact, then a pancreas islet cell transplantation procedure is performed in order to treat the diabetes. This is usually performed when the diabetes is in its initial stages of disease.

Procedure of Pancreatic Transplant

Evaluation: The recipient undergoes a thorough evaluation to assess their overall health and determine if they are suitable for a pancreatic transplant. This involves medical tests, imaging studies, and consultations with the transplant team.

Organ Matching: A suitable pancreas with close genetic possibility is identified for transplantation, either from a deceased donor or a living donor that is based on availability and compatibility.

Surgery Preparation: Preparations are made for the surgery that includes scheduling the day for pancreatic transplant surgery, assembling the surgical team and scheduling the operating room.

Anesthesia: The recipient is given anesthesia to ensure they are unconscious and free of pain throughout the procedure.

Incision: The incision is made according to the type of procedure chosen. It may be large in case of traditional open surgery or may be smaller incisions in case of minimally invasive surgery.

Donor Pancreas Removal: The surgeon removes the pancreas from the deceased person with important blood vessels and some part of the small intestine.

Transplantation: The donor pancreas is carefully connected to the recipient's blood vessels and digestive system. This involves attaching the blood vessels of the donor pancreas to the blood vessels to the patient. In this surgical procedure, the donor pancreas is connected to the intestine or bladder of the patient for drainage.

Closure: After the transplantation, the incisions are closed and medications are applied for the prevention of infection.

Recovery: For the recovery, the medicines are applied for the prevention of blood clots. Some medicines are used to lower the chances of rejection of transplant.

Follow-up Care: after the transplant, there is a need to follow a proper diet and adapt some lifestyle changes. Exercise and physical activity should increase gradually to improve the quality of life.

Cost of Pancreatic Transplant in India

The cost of pancreatic transplant in India ranges from 21,312 USD to 28,416 USD. The cost may vary according to the patient’s condition, type of pancreatic transplant and hospitals’ facilities. The cost can also vary if the surgical procedure presents with severe complications.


Treatment Costs in India Min in USD Max in USD
Pancreatic transplant 20000 USD 30000 USD


Symptoms & Risk Factors of Pancreatic Transplant Treatment

Here are the indications or conditions that may require a pancreatic transplant:

  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus in which there is difficulty to control blood sugar levels with medications.
  • Severe hypoglycemia and the inability to recognize low blood sugar.
  • Labile diabetes with frequent and unpredictable swings in blood sugar levels.
  • End-stage renal disease or kidney failure that may require kidney transplantation, along with damage to pancreas.
  • Recurrent or chronic pancreatitis with severe pain and complications.
  • Pancreatic cancer with limited spread and eligibility for a combined pancreas-kidney transplant.
  • Non-functioning or severely impaired pancreas due to trauma
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus with significant complications such as diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, or nephropathy.
  • Severe and recurrent diabetic ketoacidosis episodes.
  • Recurrent severe hypoglycemic episodes that are life-threatening or significantly impact quality of life.
  • Poor quality of life due to the burden of managing type 1 diabetes.
  • Islet cell failure or dysfunction despite intensive insulin therapy.
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency leading to malabsorption and significant weight loss.

Risk Factors of Pancreatic Transplant

Surgical Risks

The pancreatic transplant procedure is highly complex and may cause leakage of blood vessels, infections or blood clot formation which further require the medical and surgical management.

Organ Rejection

Sometimes the body's natural defense mechanism recognizes the tissue of transplant as an antigen and fights against the new donor transplanted lung tissues. This can be prevented by using immunosuppressive medications but still there are chances of rejection.


Due to decreased immunity, the chances of viral, fungal and bacterial infections increases to two folds which can damage the transplanted pancreas and also other organs.

Post-operative Complications

After a surgery, some pancreatic transplant recipients may experience complications such as chronic rejection, recurrence of the original pancreatic disease, or health issues unrelated to pancreatic disease.

Cardiovascular Complications

There is an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and narrowing of blood vessels.

Pre-existing Conditions

Recipients with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or kidney problems, may experience complications or the potential recurrence of these conditions after the transplant.

Top Hospitals for Pancreatic Transplant in India

Shaping the future of the healthcare institution and establishing the path to accomplishment.

Max Super Speciality Hospital Dehradun Dehradun,India

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Burjeel Medical Hospital City Abu Dhabi,UAE

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Manipal Hospital, Mysore Bengaluru,India

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Manipal Hospital, Pune Pune,India

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Top Doctors for Pancreatic Transplant in India

Empower your Health with the Expertise of Leading Medical Professionals.

Dr. Suresh Raghavaiah

Department of Liver Transplant


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Dr. Sonal Asthana

Department of General Surgery


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Dr. Mathew Jacob

Department of Hepatology

Hepato Pancreato Biliary surgeon

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Dr. Rajiv Lochan J

Department of General Surgery

General Surgeon

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Dr. Sonal Asthana

Department of Hepatology

Biliary and Multi

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Treatment Costs for Pancreatic Transplant

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FAQ's of Pancreatic Transplant Treatment in India

The overall prognosis for people receiving a pancreatic transplant is good. Also, those who receive a kidney-pancreas transplant have fewer chances of immune rejection. However, the results and the long-term outlook is highly dependent on several other factors such as the post-op care, skills of the doctor, general health etc.