Warning signs after a pancreas transplant

What to watch out for after a pancreas transplant and when to seek medical advice

Key points

  • The most common issues you might experience are infection and rejection
  • Problems are often first detected through blood tests at your clinic appointments
  • Make sure you attend all your scheduled appointments so your transplant team can monitor your progress

When to seek medical advice

Please contact your transplant team if you experience any of the following:

  • A high temperature of 38 degrees C or above
  • Feeling hot and shivery
  • Severe headache
  • Significant tummy (abdominal) pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • New chest pain
  • Fatigue or generally feeling ‘rough’
  • Blood mixed in the bowel motions or black bowel motions
  • Little or no urine
  • High blood sugars (for example, more than 10 mmol/L)

Make sure you attend all your clinic appointments

Often early signs of rejection are picked up through blood tests at your regular clinic visits. This is why it’s so important to attend all your appointments.


Rejection is your body’s response to having a transplanted organ. The immunosuppressant medications will help to stop you rejecting the organ. But many transplant patients still experience rejection. This is usually mild and can be treated with different medications. It’s very rarely serious or fatal. 

Pancreas rejection can cause tummy (abdominal) pain or raised blood sugars. If you’ve had a simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplant, kidney rejection can cause you to pass less urine or have pain over the kidney transplant.

Learn more about rejection


Infections are very common immediately after surgery. Infections can also occur in the months or years after a transplant. This is partly due to the immunosuppressant medicines that lower your immune system. Chest and urinary infections are the most common infections and can be treated with antibiotics and antivirals. Serious infections are rare.

Learn more about infections

More information

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