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Solid organ transplantation

Published on 17 August 2022

Pancreatic transplantation

The Pancreas and Simultaneous Pancreas and Kidney Transplantation Service is for adults over the age of 16 living with type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes and end-stage kidney failure.

The service is based at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

When do patients need pancreas or pancreas-kidney transplantation?

The pancreas produces both digestive juices and hormones like insulin. Sometimes people are unable to produce insulin, resulting in diabetes. Our kidneys filter waste products from the blood and convert them to urine. If the kidneys lose this ability, waste products can build up, causing a threat to the patient's life. In either case, a transplant may be the best option.

A pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure to treat patients with poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes. It replaces the need for insulin with a healthy pancreas from a deceased donor.

A simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplant is a surgical procedure to replace both a kidney and pancreas at the same time. This occurs for someone who has kidney failure relating to type 1 diabetes.

The service assesses potential recipients and donors. It's also responsible for the transplant operation and inpatient care.

Further information about pancreas or SPK transplant services in Scotland is available on the Edinburgh Transplant website.

Lead clinician

Andrew Sutherland, Consultant Transplant Surgeon


Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
51 Little France Crescent
EH16 4SA

NSD contact

NSD Specialist Services

Please note that NSD does not directly provide medical services and we won't be able to answer queries about your own care or appointments. If you would like to discuss any aspects of your care, please contact your primary healthcare provider. This might be your GP, Consultant, Nurse or other healthcare professional. They will be best placed to give you the right advice.