Before a Pancreas Transplant
Getting Started With a Referral
The evaluation process begins with a referral from your family doctor or endocrinologist. You can initiate the process by contacting our referral coordinator at 800.543.8814.
The coordinator will collect basic medical information, and our financial counselor will contact you to provide advice on basic financial questions and begin contact with relevant insurers.
The Evaluation Process
The next step is a visit to our transplant clinic. We like to receive medical records (a medical history, physical exam and any recent diagnostic studies, such as chest X-ray, heart test or blood work) before this visit. We will work with your referring doctor to get this information.
This visit includes an informal group discussion of various aspects of pancreas transplantation. Patients then meet individually with members of the transplant team, including the transplant endocrinologist, nurse coordinator, financial coordinator, social worker and nutritionist. The evaluation will take several hours.
Transplant Team Review
After the evaluation process, the transplant team reviews your evaluation to consider your eligibility for placement on the national waiting list. We will also recommend a treatment plan for your continued care.
Waiting for An Organ
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a federally regulated, non-profit organization, manages the national organ waiting list. UNOS uses a complex set of factors to make distributions fair.
A pancreas is distributed based on several factors, including a biological match between donor and recipient and the amount of time you've been on the waiting list.
The wait time for a pancreas in our region from a deceased donor is three to five years. The transplant surgery must occur within hours of the pancreas becoming available. Patients must be easily accessible to the clinical staff in order to ensure that an offer of an organ can be accepted in time. Each transplant center is given limited time to accept an organ offer.
Find out more about pancreas transplant surgery.