Pancreas Transplant
Signs and Symptoms

The pancreas, located below your liver and under your stomach, is about seven inches long and weighs about 3.5 ounces. It has two main functions.

The first is to help digest food by making and releasing enzymes in the upper portion of the small intestine. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are broken down into small parts that the body uses as nourishment. The pancreas also produces large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, which makes the contents of the stomach less caustic or acidic as they flow through the small intestine. Sodium bicarbonate helps keep fluids in the body and prevent dehydration.

The second function is to make insulin, a hormone necessary for the body to use carbohydrates properly. If you don't produce insulin, you have a disease called diabetes.

A pancreas transplant can help manage organ damage that may result from insulin-dependent diabetes. It could eliminate the need for insulin injections, reduce or eliminate dietary and activity restrictions due to diabetes, and decrease or eliminate the risk of severe low blood sugar.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Organ Transplant

Pancreas Transplant
400 Parnassus Ave., Seventh Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-1551
Pre-Transplant Fax: (415) 353-8708
Post-Transplant Fax: (415) 353-4183
Appointment information

Kidney Transplant Program
400 Parnassus Ave., Seventh Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-1551
Pre-Kidney Fax: (415) 353-8708
Post-Kidney Fax: (415) 353-8381
Appointment information