JACKSON — Surgeons at the University of Mississippi Medical Center recently transplanted a pancreas and kidney into a 49-year-old man, marking the first such event for the state and final piece of UMMC’s abdominal transplant line.
“Our goal has been to build a complete and high-functioning abdominal transplant program,” said Dr. Christopher Anderson, UMMC associate professor of transplant surgery and division chief of transplant and hepatobiliary surgery. “The pancreas transplant program represents that last piece of the abdominal program and is the culmination of a lot of hard work from our transplant team and the entire institution. University Transplant can now serve the state’s kidney, liver and pancreas needs while keeping patients close to home.”
The patient has suffered from type 1 diabetes since childhood and subsequently developed kidney failure. He is in good condition yesterday and is expected to return home this week or early next.
Dr. Mark Earl, assistant professor of transplant surgery, performed the operation, assisted by Anderson and Dr. Andrew Gaugler, a chief surgery resident.
During a 24-hour span that included the milestone pancreas operation, UMMC teams transplanted five organs into four Mississippians. Other patients received a heart, kidney and liver.
“It’s remarkable how far organ transplant — at this very institution — has come, from Dr. James Hardy transplanting the first human lung just over 50 years ago to these recent outstanding achievements,” said Dr. Marc Mitchell, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery.
In addition to Gaugler, two general surgery residents, a third-year medical student, a critical-care fellow and a student nurse anesthetist observed or participated in the operation.
The transplant program began administrative and logistical preparations about a year ago for the first pancreas transplant. In late September, University Transplant received pancreas approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nation’s non-profit oversight organization for transplantation.