Ask a Specialist: Pancreas Transplants

February 14 is National Donor Day and Queen’s is excited to announce that the Queen’s organ transplant program has now expanded to include pancreas transplants.  Learn what the pancreas does, who would need a transplant and how a transplant can change or save a life. Join Dr. Jon “Kai” Yamaguchi, transplant surgeon at The Queen’s Medical Center, in this segment of Ask a Specialist on Wake Up 2day.

What does the pancreas do, and who might need a pancreas transplant? It helps in digestion of food and works to control blood sugar levels.

Type I diabetic patients and limited type II diabetes mellitus patients might need a pancreas transplant.

A pancreas transplant might change or save someone’s life because it can take away the need for injected insulin, can stop the troubles with high and low blood sugars experienced by many diabetics; and can halt and sometimes reverse the end organ dysfunction caused by diabetes.

The process for someone to receive a pancreas transplant includes:

  • Patient goes through comprehensive medical, surgical and psychosocial work-up
  • Patient is listed for transplantation
  • Patient is placed on waiting list for when pancreas becomes available

The organ transplantation program was opened at The Queen’s Medical Center in January 2012. Since then, more than 230 liver and kidney transplants have been performed.

To learn more about the organ donation process, and how you can register to become an organ donor, call the Queen’s Transplant Center at (808) 691-8897 or go to

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