Pancreas transplantation: 50 years of experience

Cir Esp. 2017 May;95(5):254-260. doi: 10.1016/j.ciresp.2017.02.005. Epub 2017 Jun 5.
[Article in English, Spanish]


In December 1966, the first pancreas transplant ever was performed at the University of Minnesota. R. Lillehei and W. Kelly, transplanted a kidney and a pancreas in a diabetic patient on dialysis, getting function of both organs. Since then, the technical and immunological advances in this transplant have resulted in graft and patient survival results as the rest of the abdominal solid organ transplants. The balance of these 50 years is that more than 50,000 diabetic patients have been transplanted in more than 200 centers around the world. In our country the first transplant was performed 34 years ago in Barcelona and now 12 centers perform about 100 transplants per year. Although advances in diabetes control have been very important, pancreas transplantation continues to be the only method that allows normalization of the carbohydrates metabolism to improve the quality of life and, above all, to increase the survival of these patients.

Keywords: Avances técnicos; Pancreas transplant; Technical advances; Trasplante de páncreas.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Pancreas Transplantation* / history
  • Pancreas Transplantation* / methods