UI Health Now the Largest Kidney/Pancreas Program in the U.S.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024


UI Health is home to one of the country’s premier Kidney Transplant programs. Dr. Enrico Benedetti, head of the Department of Surgery, visited ‘Spotlight Chicago’ to talk about the program’s unique kidney transplant options, including transplants for high-BMI patients and patients with calcified arteries.

The University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics performed the most simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplants in the United States in 2023, according to data from the Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network (OTPN), a national organ donation and transplantation database.

Pancreas transplant often is a treatment for patients with type 1 diabetes and uncontrolled insulin production. But one in three adults with diabetes also develop chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and pancreas transplant is often done simultaneously with a kidney transplant to treat CKD.

In a combined kidney-pancreas transplant, both organs are transplanted in the same procedure. The goal of a combined kidney-pancreas transplant is to restore normal insulin production and kidney function and stop the need for insulin therapy and dialysis.

The majority of pancreas transplants are done simultaneously with a kidney transplant.

UI Health’s transplant volumes are reflective of our program’s expertise dedication to providing exceptional care and making a substantial impact in organ transplantation.

Our comprehensive program caters to a diverse range of patients needing kidney and pancreas transplants, including patients with body mass indices at or above 30 (indicative of obesity) who may be denied surgery at other centers. Surgeons at UI Health specialize in robotic surgical techniques, which can be a safer option and offer improved outcomes and recovery times. By tailoring our approach to each patient's unique needs, we ensure personalized and effective care while aiming for the best outcomes possible.

Visit the UI Health Transplant Program to learn more about transplant options, including our specialized Spanish-language Kidney Transplant Clinic.