Combined kidney and other organ transplants

Some patients might need to have another organ transplant at the same time as a kidney transplant

Key points

  • If you have other organs that are seriously diseased, you might need more than one type of organ transplant
  • Some patients with diabetes and kidney failure can have a combined kidney and pancreas transplant, or a combined islet and kidney transplant
  • Rarely, kidney transplants can be performed at the same time as a heart, lung, liver or small bowel (intestinal) transplant
  • These operations are complex - your medical team will advise whether a combined transplant is suitable for you

Types of combined kidney and other organ transplants

Kidney and pancreas transplants

Combined kidney and pancreas transplantation is an option for patients who require insulin treatment for their diabetes and who also have kidney failure. This procedure is known as simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplant. It is major surgery, lasting 4-8 hours, with risks of serious complications after transplantation. Only patients who are fit enough for this type of operation are considered. A successful SPK transplant allows patients to be free of both dialysis and insulin injections.

Find out more about kidney and pancreas (SPK) transplants

Islet and kidney transplants

Some patients with diabetes and kidney failure might be suitable for simultaneous islet and kidney. This is where the insulin-producing cells (islets) of a donated pancreas are separated from the rest of the pancreas tissue. The islets are placed into the veins within your liver through a narrow tube. Surgery is shorter than simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplantation and the risks of surgical complications after surgery are lower.

Kidney and heart, lung, liver or small bowel transplants

These are rare and very complex. Your kidney doctors will talk to you if they think this is the right option for you.

Discuss your options with your doctor

Your medical team will talk to you if they think one of these treatments is suitable for you.

More information

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