250 pancreatic transplants

News

- It might not sound like much, but it is a milestone and it feels good to exceed a certain level. Moreover, it is a very important and meaningful treatment with great potential, says Johan Nordström, Senior Specialist responsible for pancreatic transplants at Karolinska.

Which patients are considered for pancreatic transplants?

- These are primarily patients with Type 1 diabetes. And, over the past few years, there has been a renewed interest in pancreatic transplantations, both nationally and internationally, due to a combined pancreatic kidney transplant that has great potential to cure Type 1 diabetes accompanied by kidney failure, says Johan Nordström, Senior Specialist responsible for pancreatic transplants at Karolinska.

The 250th transplant was just such a combination transplantation and with it, a patient was cured of diabetes.

250 pancreatic transplants is a milestone. It is also an important and meaningful treatment, says Johan Nordström, Senior Specialist, Patient Area Transplantation, Karolinska. Photo: Karolina Fränne

Patients with Type 1 diabetes who may be considered for combined transplantations are often dependent on extensive dialysis treatments in order to survive. Transplantation of just the pancreas can be done in patients with very a severe form of Type 1 diabetes without kidney failure.

- It can be a complicated procedure that requires a high level of competency. Not that many pancreatic transplants are performed in Sweden each year, but of those, we do the majority. We also perform kidney and liver transplants, have excellent experience and a great team with a high volume of transplants. This enables us to achieve good results, he explains.

All of Sweden

The transplantation division receives patients from all over Sweden.

- But, we do realize that there are many more who would like to contact us for an evaluation, says Johan Nordström.

Facts

  • Sweden's first pancreatic transplantation was conducted in 1974 at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge (then known as Huddinge Hospital). Now, the center has done upwards of 250.
  • The Transplantation patient area at Karolinska Huddinge is the largest in Sweden for pancreatic transplants.
  • Pancreatic transplants are uncommon, with only around 20 performed in Sweden each year, when compared to the 400 kidney transplants per year.
  • Karolinska performs liver and kidney transplants on both children and adults and has been awarded a national healthcare assignment for adult liver transplants.