Although the hospitalization is
relatively short following pancreas and pancreas-kidney transplantation,
our physicians and staff will continue to monitor our recent transplant
recipients very closely in the clinic during recovery. Patients enjoy the comfort of
home as they recover, yet still receive their necessary medical attention at our clinic.
Clinic visits are scheduled weekly or
twice weekly during the early period after transplant, and the time
between visits will be increased according to the patient's needs.
Patients from outside the Greater Houston area should plan to stay in
Houston for 2-3 weeks after transplant to ensure that this close
follow-up is possible.
Life after Pancreas-Kidney Transplantation
The goal of pancreas or pancreas-kidney
transplantation is to return patients to a full, satisfying quality of
life since they are off insulin and no longer have strict dietary and
travel restrictions. Many patients go back to school, work and
activities they enjoyed prior to having organ failure.
After 6 months to 1 year after
transplant, the patient will be referred back to see his/her original
nephrologist. This is done so that the patient
can always have an expert physician following them for their transplant
near their home or work. The patient typically sees his/her nephrologist 2-4 times a year.
The nephrologist or endocrinologist will
address problems with hypertension, diabetes, and worsening
pancreas-kidney function if the transplant is failing. The Transplant
Center will continue to see the patient annually and get labs every 3-4
months to monitor the patient. The Transplant Center communicates with
the patient's nephrologist openly to provide optimal joint care for the
Transplantation can sometimes seem
overwhelming for patients. The Transplant Center offers a transplant
support group that is run by our transplant social workers. The support
group meets monthly and encompasses patients who are both waiting for a
transplant and those who have already received a transplant.
Every other month, a guest speaker is
invited to talk about a topic of interest to the group. In between, the
support group functions in a more traditional way where patients share
their experiences, provide insightful help and recommendations, ask
questions, and form relationships with other patients going through
similar issues. Adult family members, friends, and caregivers are
welcome and encouraged to come with the patient.