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Venetta Pottinger is busier today than she could have imagined just a few years ago before her kidney and pancreas transplant.
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Our Pancreas Transplant Program began in 1987 when surgeons performed the first adult pancreas transplant following kidney transplant in Wisconsin. The program offers adult patients survival rates that exceed national benchmarks. Program surgeons leverage decades of combined experience with the latest research-proven transplant approaches to provide all possible treatment options for patients.

Pancreas transplantation predominantly is undertaken to treat patients with Type 1 diabetes. The intent is to cure the condition and make it possible to stop taking insulin. The majority of  pancreas transplants also involve kidney transplant, either before or during the same procedure. For this reason, pancreas transplant physicians work closely with diabetes experts and the End-Stage Kidney Disease and Kidney Transplant Program at Froedtert Hospital.

Advanced Pancreas Transplant Care

The Pancreas Transplant Program is certified by Medicare and Medicaid, and participates in the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS). We are affiliated with the Wisconsin Donor Network, a federally designated organ procurement agency that supports the transplant community in eastern Wisconsin.

Exceptional Pancreas Transplant Survival Rate

Pancreas transplant survival rates at Froedtert Hospital meet or exceed national benchmarks. For the most current simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant outcomes data, visit the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

Expertise in All Approaches to Pancreas Transplant

Transplant surgeons at Froedtert Hospital are highly experienced in all approaches to pancreas transplant and can provide treatment tailored to each patient’s needs. The most common approach is simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant (SPK). Surgeons also are adept at performing simultaneous transplants of the pancreas with live kidney donation (SPLK), pancreas transplant after kidney transplant (PAK), and pancreas transplant alone (PTA). Our expertise in transplants involving live kidney donation further broadens options for patients and can decrease wait list time.

Physician Referrals

Use the kidney and pancreas transplant referral form to refer your patient to the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program.

Research-Driven Pancreas Transplant Care

Through their affiliation with an academic medical center, program physicians offer patients the latest, research-proven treatment options. In some patients, for instance, surgeons use a technique that helps drain pancreatic secretions in a way that reduces bladder-related complications.

Another indication of clinical leadership is the availability of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue typing and virtual cross-matching through the program’s affiliation with Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin. HLA tissue typing of pancreas donors and recipients involves a blood test that identifieFs components called antigens on the surface of body tissues and cells. The test helps determine if donor tissue is compatible for transplant with the recipient, decreasing the chance of organ rejection. Virtual cross-matching also involves a sophisticated blood test that makes transplants easier and safer for patients prone to rejection, potentially increasing the pool of donors and decreasing wait times.

Comprehensive Care, Focused on Patients for Life

All members of the Pancreas Transplant Program care team specialize in caring for transplant patients before, during and after transplant. They help patients and families prepare for each step of the pancreas transplant experience and connect them with the many patient resources the Transplant Center offers. Post-surgery hospital care is provided on a dedicated nursing unit solely for transplant patients.

Following discharge and for years to come, transplant coordinators trained in post-pancreas transplant care monitor patient progress and help them live life to its fullest. These experts recognize, manage and minimize the combined impact that diabetes treatments, immunosuppressant drugs and other medical factors can have on patients.

International Patients

We are here to help international patients arrange for their care at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Transplant and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Transplant patients may be at a higher risk of severe COVID-19, and we have seen worse outcomes if they do get it. Due to the increased risk, we recommend transplant patients get the vaccine.

Recognized as High Performing by U.S. News & World Report

Froedtert Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in five adult specialties and seven procedures and conditions, including kidney failure treatment.