SSM Health Medical Minute – Pancreas transplant offers new hope for Type II diabetes

Medical Minute

ST. LOUIS – The Transplant Center at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital provides a full range of medical and surgical services for patients with end-stage renal disease and liver disease.

The Transplant Center is nationally-recognized and has a long history of success in kidney and liver transplantation.  Now, the Transplant Center is offering new hope for patients who are at risk for kidney disease or nerve damage due to ongoing Type II Diabetes. 

SLU Hospital has expanded its transplant services to include pancreas transplants.

Pancreas transplant has been available for decades, so it is a well-established way to cure Type I diabetes, however, only 10% of pancreas transplants are being performed for those with Type II diabetes.

Dr. Vidya Fleetwood, a SLUCare Transplant Surgeon at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, says pancreas transplants have been available at SLU Hospital for many years, but most commonly for patients with Type I diabetes or someone who has taken insulin to control their diabetes since they were young. 

“Many diabetics in the country are Type II Diabetics, where they develop diabetes at an older age and start to require insulin.” she said. “What we know is that both types of diabetes causes complications, most commonly kidney disease, but also sometimes neuropathy which means they cannot walk and quality of life issues such as digestive issues so they cannot keep their food down, and diabetes also puts these patients at risk for losing their eyesight.” 

Pancreas transplant for Type II diabetes is becoming increasingly more common. The Transplant Center at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital works tirelessly to transform these opportunities into successful outcomes.

To learn more about the SLU Hospital Transplant Center, click here

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.

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