Simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant performed on diabetic patient

Simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant is an operation to replace kidney and pancreas at the same time in a patient who has kidney failure and also suffers from diabetes, needing very high insulin dose to control sugars

Simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant performed on diabetic patient
Image used for representational purposes only

Sahyadri Hospital recently conducted complex and critical simultaneous kidney- pancreas transplantation.  A diabetic patient successfully underwent simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant recently.

Diabetes is one of the most common problems in India and can affect various organs. Replacing kidney and pancreas is one of the most useful solution, however, pancreas transplant are still rare in India.

Elaborating on the successful transplant, Dr Bipin Vibhute, Liver and Multivisceral Transplant Surgeon said, “Our last case of simultaneous kidney and pancreas was unique and they were transplanted to a Kunal Pandit, a 52-year-old from Mumbai who was suffering from renal failure since seven years. And severe diabetes, since 25 years which had damaged his kidney, who had weakness in both legs due to diabetes. He had to depend on dialysis twice a week and heavy doses of insulin.”

Dr Anil Vaidya, Multivisceral transplant surgeon added, “Kunal’s diabetes complications were not limited to his kidney but also his heart function was also weak but fit enough for transplantation.”

Dr Vaidya explained, “When we started his surgery he had lot of fat on his belly and his main blood vessels which usually carries oxygenated blood from heart to abdomen and legs were completely calcified and there was no place on that blood vessel to suture or to give blood supply to new pancreas and kidney. Hence, we dissected his lower limb blood vessel to find out whether we can get sufficient blood supply and fortunately we got 1 cm patch from where we got cadaveric conduit (blood vessel) from which we could give blood supply to both new pancreas and kidney and was transplanted, one above the other, otherwise both organs would have been transplanted at different locations. The transplant continued well and post- operative period was uneventful and he was discharged from the hospital on the seventh day after transplantation.”

Dr Vaidya further said, “In addition, what made this transplant a complex one is that the blood supply to the pancreas and kidney had to be derived from a single unconventional source, because the conventional vessels were rigid with calcium deposits, making it impossible to use without risking the blood supply to the lower limb.”

Dr Dinesh Babu, the senior anaesthetist, said, “He never required dialysis since transplantation, though he was on very small doses of insulin immediately after surgery but now he is off insulin or for that matter any diabetes medicines.  We claim this type of surgery to give new lease of life to end stage kidney transplant recipient and innovation is world’s first reported case. The patient is doing well after the transplant and is completely relieved of his insulin intake and dialysis. We are constantly monitoring his progress.”

Dr Babu concluded, “This surgery eliminates problems by optimally controlling sugar levels and by protecting the transplanted kidney from the adverse effects of diabetes. Additionally, it will also help reverse the effects of diabetes on other systems including peripheral neuropathy thus, protecting the limbs.”