Purpose: We herein report our experience with pancreas transplantation in 26 patients at a single institution in Japan between August 2001 and December 2011.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 26 pancreas transplantations performed in our institute.
Results: The early complications (within 2 weeks) included one graft venous thrombosis, one arterial thrombosis, and two reoperations for bleeding. Of the 26 pancreas transplant recipients, five lost pancreas graft function. Of 24 simultaneous pancreas-kidney recipients, three lost kidney graft function due to noncompliance. The patient, pancreas, and kidney survival rates were 100, 96 and 93 % at 1 year; 100, 80 and 93 % at 5 years; and 100, 67 and 68 % at 10 years, respectively. Of all these complications, venous thrombosis after pancreas transplantation was the most critical.
Conclusions: As the largest series of pancreas transplantations in a single institution in Japan, our series yielded better results than the worldwide data recorded by the International Pancreas Transplant Registry. Routine postoperative anticoagulation therapy is not necessary for the prevention of graft thrombosis if sufficient fluid infusion is strictly controlled and the graft blood flow is frequently monitored. When graft thrombosis occurs, both early detection and appropriate intervention are extremely important if the pancreas graft is to survive.