Skip to main content
Recovery

You'll usually need to stay in hospital for 2 to 3 weeks after a pancreas transplant.

Recovering in hospital

When you wake up after having a pancreas transplant, you'll first be cared for in an intensive care unit (ICU) or a high dependency unit (HDU).

You'll usually be moved to a general transplant ward after 12 to 24 hours.

While in hospital, you'll be attached to various tubes, monitors and machines.

These may include:

If you have also had a kidney transplant, you may need temporary dialysis, a treatment that replicates some of the kidney's functions.

Follow-up appointments

You'll have regular follow-up appointments to monitor your progress after a pancreas transplant.

These will be quite frequent at first, but may eventually only be necessary once every few months.

During these appointments, you'll have tests to check how well your pancreas and medicines are working, and also check for any complications of a pancreas transplant.

Immunosuppressants

You'll need to take several medicines called immunosuppressants for the rest of your life after having a pancreas transplant.

Without these medicines, your body may recognise your new pancreas as foreign and attack it. This is known as rejection.

Immunosuppressants are powerful mediciness that can have a range of significant side effects, such as an increased chance of getting certain infections.

While the side effects may be troublesome, you should never stop taking your immunosuppressants without medical advice. If you do, it could lead to your pancreas being rejected.

Find out more about immunosuppressant side effects

Getting back to normal

You should be able to return to most of your normal activities after a pancreas transplant, although this can take a while.

Your healthcare team will tell you about any activities you should avoid during your recovery, and can advise you about when it's safe to start them again.