JACKSON, Miss. – Building on the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s record of firsts, last month (December 2013), surgeons 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 had suffered from type 1 diabetes since childhood and subsequently developed kidney failure. He is in good condition today 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.
“This procedure will improve quality of life and provide a significant survival benefit over dialysis and insulin therapy,” Earl said.
“While we celebrate this success and what it means for Mississippians in the future, we also sincerely thank the donor family. They lost someone irreplaceably special yet made an incredibly life-affirming decision to donate.”
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.