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Types of Kidney and Pancreas Transplants

We offer many types of transplants at UPMC's Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program. Your transplant team will decide and discuss with you the best option at your pretransplant evaluation.

Kidney Transplants

The options for kidney transplant include deceased donor and living-donor kidney transplants. Each has unique risks and benefits, which we will discuss with you in detail during your transplant evaluation visit.

Deceased-Donor Kidney Transplant

  • Kidneys come from closely screened, deceased donors to ensure the kidney is suitable for transplant.
  • Because people undergoing a deceased-donor transplant are on a waitlist for a kidney donor, it's unknown when the transplant will occur.

Living-Donor Kidney Transplant

  • A healthy person — often a blood relative, close friend, or a stranger (altruistic donor) — provides a kidney. In some cases, donors who meet eligibility requirements can take part in a kidney exchange.
  • We can schedule living-donor transplant surgery to allow time for both the patient and donor to plan and prepare.

Pancreas Transplant

This type of transplant helps people with type 1 diabetes or pancreatic disease whose kidneys still function, but have severe shifts in glucose levels.

Simultaneous Pancreas-Kidney Transplant

This type of transplant helps people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes whose kidneys are failing — or have failed — and who need both a new kidney and pancreas.

Surgeons transplant both the kidney and pancreas from the same donor during one surgery.

Pancreas-After-Kidney Transplant

People who remain diabetic following a kidney transplant may receive this type of transplant to prevent any future damage to the new kidney.

Surgeons transplant the pancreas following a successful kidney transplant.

Auto-Islet Transplant

This type of transplant may be an option for people with chronic inflammation of the pancreas.

Surgeons isolate the islet cells — the cells that produce insulin — and return them to the patient through a catheter leading to the liver. This allows the islet cells to produce insulin again.

Learn More About Organ Transplant and Donation

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