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Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 01:29 PM   #1
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Pancreas Transplant News

This morning I got a call at 7:00 that there was a pancreas available and I was number one on the list! I was told to eat a really big breakfast and to stay at home and wait for a call this afternoon.

So that's what I am doing. I am surprised to hear about eating but apparently *now-a-days*, that's how they do it. I have a lot of time before the surgery. I won't even hear from them before noon and then it will take at least an hour for us to get to the transplant center in Fairfax, Va.

They mentioned that the donor was in good health, which they did not say last time I was called. I mention this because last time, I was offered a pancreas from a Hepatitis B positive donor, which I turned down.

This donor died from trauma, which could be anything from a car wreck (most likely) to a gun shot.

Update: I got a call at 1 pm telling me that everything was still "a go" but that they didn't have a room at the hospital for me yet and hadn't taken (harvested) the organs from the donor yet. They matched our blood samples and there were no bad reactions, so that's good. I am supposed to eat another big meal!

Mike D.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 01:45 PM   #2
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Wow. Let me wish you the best of luck! How long will you be in the hospital?
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOG52
Wow. Let me wish you the best of luck! How long will you be in the hospital?
They say it will be anywhere from 5 to 10 days typically. Cadaveric (from a dead person) transplants can have so many fun side-effects that it's impossible to tell what will happen.

I think transplant surgeons are an interesting bunch. My impression of surgeons in general is that they are not at all interested in the drug aspect of medicine, prefering to leave that to the internists. Transplant surgeons are heavily involved with the transplant drugs. They tweak them daily for at least a week based on multiple blood tests per day. Then the patient has to go back to the transplant clinic to see the doctor dozens of times in the first three months for more testing/tweaking.

I had a kidney/pancreas xplant ten and a half years ago but the pancreas quit working two years ago. I am familiar with all the hospital and medicine stuff pretty well by now.

I am looking forward to looking back on this whole procedure.

Mike D.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 02:29 PM   #4
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeD
This morning I got a call at 7:00 that there was a pancreas available and I was number one on the list! I was told to eat a really big breakfast and to stay at home and wait for a call this afternoon.
Awesome! Godspeed, Mike.

Keep us posted once you're on the mend.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 02:34 PM   #5
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Good luck Mike. I'll be thinking about you.

Ha
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

I didn't know they could do pancreas transplants...........is it open to diabetics, or not??
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 03:00 PM   #7
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

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Originally Posted by FinanceDude
I didn't know they could do pancreas transplants...........is it open to diabetics, or not??
That's who it's for (highly selected diabetics meeting certain strict criteria).
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 03:07 PM   #8
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Good Luck Mike, you'll be in my prayers.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

I missed you this afternoon. Hope all is well and you are in recovery with a new pancreas.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Good luck MikeD, and hope the new pancreas is chugging out the insulin......

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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-15-2006, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Hey thats great Good luck . As you mention the docs get more involved with the medications because they have to. Your have to make sure your getting enuff medication to maintain the organ and trying to keep it low enuff to avoid the side effects. Todays medications are much better though.


Finance
They used to only/mostly do pancreas transplants when the diabetics kidneys failed. Today they have made many improvements. Which means less rejection of organs and less side effects from the medication. The american diabetes association and others have pushed to get the pancreas transplants covered by medicaid by itself. I believe its been covered for less than 10 yrs. Although a type two diabetic might see some improvement to my knowledge they only do them in type one diabetics. Since there pancreas has stopped working.


Some good information on islet transpants here (thats what makes the insulin inside the pancreas)

http://www.diabetesresearch.org/Diab...hInstitute.htm
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 09:42 AM   #12
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Good vibes coming your way, Mike! Hopefully this time will go even better than last time since I'm sure surgeons have learned a lot over the past 10 years.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 09:58 AM   #13
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Best of luck, MikeD!!
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 10:26 AM   #14
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

I didn't get it.

Everything was all set. I had been admitted into the completely full hospital. They had finally found me a room. I had my IV inserted (only two tries!). They told me to go to sleep and that they would get me up at 4 am to get ready.

At 1:15 the transplant co-ordinator called and said "I have bad news for you." The donor had died from trauma in an accident and the pancreas was too damaged to use for a transplant. Due to the privacy laws she couldn't tell me anything more. She was more upset than I was. I had taken her repeated warnings to heart that even though everything was going OK they still hadn't seen the organs from the donor, etc.

She told me that I was only competing with one other person for a pancreas transplant of my type and that we were at the top of the list. So it shouldn't be long until I get another call...

My wife had just gotten home and fed the dog when I called her to come back to the hospital to get me. They said I had to leave because they needed the bed. I didn't get home 'til after 3 am. It was a long day.

Thanks for all the well wishes.

Mike D.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 10:35 AM   #15
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Quote:
Originally Posted by spideyrdpd
They used to only/mostly do pancreas transplants when the diabetics kidneys failed. Today they have made many improvements. Which means less rejection of organs and less side effects from the medication. The american diabetes association and others have pushed to get the pancreas transplants covered by medicaid by itself. I believe its been covered for less than 10 yrs.
http://www.diabetesresearch.org/Diab...hInstitute.htm
I had my first kidney/pancreas transplant back in '96. I was a type one diabetic since age 6 and the diabetes was "kicking my ass," to quote my internist, a former nuclear sub commander turned Dr.

My insurance paid for the kidney transplant but wouldn't cover the pancreas transplant because they were still too new. So the hospital threw it in for free! They wanted to get experience with pancreases (pancrei?) and a transplant center needs something like 50 transplants of a particular organ before they are allowed to charge for them.

My transplanted pancreas worked great for 8.5 years and then just up and quit. I had it removed last August in preparation for getting a new one. My transplanted kidney is working perfectly. Getting another pancreas will control my blood sugars and make my wonderful, transplanted kidney last much longer.

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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 10:36 AM   #16
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Mike, sorry to hear the mission was scrubbed. But it sounds like you won't have to wait long for another opportunity. Here's wishing you all the best...

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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 10:43 AM   #17
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

What a roller coaster -- sorry to hear it didn't work out this time.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 11:11 AM   #18
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Good vibes upgraded to virtual hugs . You have a great attitude, Mike 8).
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 11:22 AM   #19
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

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What a roller coaster -- sorry to hear it didn't work out this time.
Hey, that's not all! I also got called in three weeks ago for a transplant "offer." (See, I really am at the top of the list!)

When we got there they told me that the Dr. wanted to talk to me about something important. It turned out that the donor had Hepatitis B. But it was OK for me to get the transplant because, according to their records, I had been immunized against Hep B 10 years ago. They gave us a few minutes to talk it over. My decision, either way, was OK with them and it wouldn't affect eligibility for future transplants if I said no.

I turned to my wife and asked what she thought. She shook her head no and I said "Me too." We thanked them for the offer and left.

Another interesting day in the transplant saga.

Mike D.
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News
Old 11-16-2006, 11:32 AM   #20
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Re: Pancreas Transplant News

Sorry to hear it didn't work out this time, I also don't blame you for taking the other one and I hope the person that received it is doing well.
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