Pancreas Transplant Process

At Henry Ford, we understand that you might feel anxious about undergoing a transplant. Your transplant coordinator is always available to address your questions and concerns.

You can depend on your pancreas transplant team for compassionate care throughout your time at Henry Ford.

Waiting for a pancreas transplant

Once you receive transplant approval, your transplant coordinator will place you on the national pancreas (or pancreas and kidney) transplant waitlist. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) manages this list and matches organ donors and recipients throughout the Midwest and across the country.

Factors affecting your pancreas transplant wait

Your wait time for a donor pancreas can range from months to years. How quickly you receive a transplant depends on a number of factors, including your:

  • Health status
  • Blood type
  • Body size

Learn about our pancreas transplant outcomes.

Receiving a pancreas transplant

Your transplant coordinator will notify you when a donor pancreas becomes available. You can expect certain steps during the surgery:

  • After surgery, you recover in our specialized transplant recovery unit. This unit has filtered air to protect against infection.
  • The length of your hospital stay depends on the complexity of your surgery and your health. During your stay, you receive expert care form a medical team that has advanced training in diabetes and transplant care.
  • While in the hospital, you meet with one of our knowledgeable transplant pharmacists and start taking transplant medications. Your medication regimen will include immunosuppressants. These medicines keep your body from rejecting the donated organ(s). You must take these medicines for life.
  • You may need to take insulin until the donor pancreas starts working.
  • After you leave the hospital, you may choose to receive follow-up care, including ongoing blood work and exams, at one of our convenient pancreas transplant clinics.

Resources for transplant patients and caregivers

If you or your loved ones need help with travel arrangements, lodging or other support, our caring staff at Guest Services can help. Learn more about our resources.

Take the next step

Speak with a Transplant Institute specialist.