Risks of a pancreas transplant


It’s important to understand the risks of a pancreas transplant

Key points

  • Not every patient feels better after having a pancreas transplant
  • A pancreas transplant is major surgery and you’ll need to take strong medicines afterwards, which can cause problems
  • The risks of transplantation can broadly be divided into early risks and longer-term risks
  • All donated organs have the potential to come with health risks

Understanding your risks

A pancreas transplant can slow down the effects of diabetes and lead to a better quality of life. But it is not a cure and there may be serious problems after a transplant. This may be due to the surgery, or may be due to the immunosuppressant medications you need to take afterwards.

Risk levels

For a pancreas transplant, each risk is said to be either: very common, common, uncommon or rare. This is based on the number of pancreas transplant patients that have been affected by the risk.

Risk level Number of pancreas transplant patients affected
Very common More than 10 in 100
Common Between 1 in 100 and 10 in 100
Uncommon Between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 100
Rare Fewer than 1 in 1000

Example: Very common risk

The image below is a visual representation of a complication that affects 15 in 100 patients.

A visual representation of a complication affecting 15 in 100 patients

Example: Common risk

The image below is a visual representation of a complication that affects 2 in 100 patients.

A visual representation of a complication affecting 2 in 100 patients

Speak to your pancreas doctor about your risks

This information summarises the risks for most patients. But your transplant journey is unique. Your pancreas doctor will be able to discuss in more detail the risks you might face.



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