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Pancreas Transplant

The reasons for needing a transplant vary widely from person to person, but the one thing that remains the same is the quality of care you know you’ll receive from the Jewish Hospital Transplant Center. Our multidisciplinary team is trained to not only find the treatments that are best for you, but walk you through from beginning to end.

With nearly 200 transplants performed by our team, you know you are getting the highest level of care. From the beginning stages of determining if a transplant is right for you, to post-operative surgery, to home care and support groups, all of these things are just part of what we do to make your experience as easy as possible.

Contact Jewish Hospital Transplant Care via email or for transplant referral information, call 1.800.866.7539 and follow the organ-specific telephone prompts.

Jewish Hospital Performs First Islet Cell Auto-Transplantation in Kentucky to Treat Chronic Pancreatitis

People with a debilitating and painful disease have a new treatment option available to them thanks to the collaborative efforts of Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville and the University of Louisville Physicians. 

Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, and faculty members from the UofL School of Medicine are providing total pancreatectomy with islet cell auto-transplantation for some patients with chronic pancreatitis. The program is funded by an $800,000 grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.

Chronic pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas, can only be cured with complete removal of the pancreas (total pancreatectomy). However, removing the entire pancreas creates diabetes that is extremely difficult to control, with alternating very high and dangerous, life-threatening low blood sugars. Therefore, only a portion of the pancreas typically is removed in an attempt to prevent post-operative diabetes. This treatment does not very effectively treat the episodes of pain that lead to recurrent hospital admissions for patients with chronic pancreatitis. 

The total pancreatectomy with auto-transplantation of islet cells from the pancreas is an alternative treatment being performed by a handful of facilities around the world, including Jewish Hospital. This procedure involves complete removal of the pancreas. The patient’s islet cells are isolated in a “cleanroom” facility at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (a partnership between UofL and the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence) and then re-implanted into the patient to prevent diabetes.

Most patients who have had total pancreatectomy with islet auto-transplantation find a dramatic lessening of abdominal pain, reduction in the use of narcotic pain medicine and improved blood sugar control. Since the process involves the re-implantation of the patient’s own cells, the patient does not have to take immunosuppressive medication to ensure the viability of the treatment. 

Referring physicians or patients with chronic pancreatitis can learn more about the procedure by calling 502.407.3220. 

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