Kidney-Pancreas Transplants in Memphis, Tennessee
Because most people with type 1 diabetes who meet the criteria for pancreas transplantation also have some degree of kidney disease, simultaneous transplantation of both a pancreas and a kidney is often performed. The best success rates have been achieved with this type of procedure. In its most recent available statistics, the International Pancreas Transplant Registry reported a 95 percent one-year survival rate and a 90 percent three-year survival rate for Simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney procedures in the US.
Persons with diabetes must stay alert for symptoms that can lead to clinical complications. The best way to do this is to:
- get regular checkups - finding problems early is the best way to keep complications from becoming serious.
- keep appointments with your physician - even when you are feeling well.
- carefully self-monitor blood sugar levels several times a day, as directed by your physician.
- control weight.
- eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- get regular exercise.
- check your feet every day for even minor cuts or blisters.
- quit smoking
- be aware of symptoms and warning signs
- Warning signs include: vision problems (blurriness, spots), fatigue, pale skin color, obesity (more than 20 pounds overweight), numbness or tingling feelings in hands or feet, repeated infections or slow healing of wounds, chest pain, vaginal itching, or constant headaches.
Criteria have been developed to ensure that all people on the waiting list are judged fairly as to the severity of their illness and the urgency of receiving a transplant. The people in most urgent need of a transplant are placed highest on the status list, and are given first priority when a donor kidney becomes available.
An extensive evaluation must be completed before you can be placed on the transplant list. Testing includes:
- blood tests
- diagnostic tests
- psychological and social evaluation
Blood tests are done to gather information that will help determine how urgent it is that you are placed on the transplant list, as well as ensure that you receive a donor organ that is a good match. Some of the tests you may already be familiar with, since they evaluate the health of your kidney and other organs. These tests may include blood chemistries and clotting studies.
Other blood tests will help improve the chances that the donor organ will not be rejected. Our team will test your blood type, study the antibodies in your blood for likelihood of success and perform viral studies to determine the possibility of organ rejection. Other diagnostic tests will help us understand your complete medical status and are decided on an individual basis.
The Organ Transplant Team
The organ transplant team will consider all information from interviews, your medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests in determining whether you can be a candidate for kidney transplantation. After the evaluation and you have been accepted to have a kidney transplant, you will be placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) list.
During the evaluation process, you will be interviewed by many members of the transplant team. The following are some of the members of the team:
- transplant surgeons
- nephrologist - Nephrologists will help manage your condition before and after the surgery.
- transplant nurse coordinator - The nurse coordinator will provide patient education, and coordinates the diagnostic testing and follow-up care.
- social workers - These professionals will help your family deal with many issues that may arise including lodging and transportation, finances, and legal issues.
- physical therapists
- pastoral care
- infectious disease specialist
The United Network for Organ Sharing is responsible for transplant organ distribution in the United States. UNOS oversees the allocation of many different types of organ transplants, including liver, kidney, pancreas, heart and lung.
UNOS receives data from hospitals and medical centers throughout the country regarding adults and children who need organ transplants. Our organ transplant team is responsible for sending the data to UNOS, and updating them as your condition changes.
Sometimes, people wait only a few days or weeks before receiving a donor organ. If no living-related donor is available, it may take months or years on the waiting list before a suitable donor organ is available. During this time, you will receive close follow-up with your physicians and the transplant team. Various support groups are also available to assist you during this waiting time.
The following are some of the most common symptoms of rejection. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include fever, tenderness over the kidney, elevated blood creatinine level or high blood pressure.
Your transplant team will instruct you on who to call immediately if any of these symptoms occur.