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Kidney and Kidney-Pancreas Transplants

Why choose Ochsner Health for your kidney or kidney-pancreas transplant?

In 1973, Ochsner performed our first kidney transplant surgery. Almost 50 years and 3,537 kidney and kidney-pancreas transplants later, the surgery has become a routine procedure. What hasn’t become routine is the way Ochsner cares for each patient. Our team has created an environment of excellence where you are not just a name on a national register, but an individual with a life you can’t wait to get back to. Our reward is helping you succeed.

Ochsner is a Medicare-approved transplant program and a Center of Excellence for many insurers.

The Ochsner kidney and kidney-pancreas transplant team provide truly multidisciplinary care. Our team consists of surgeons, transplant nephrologists, certified transplant coordinators, social workers, nurse coordinators, pharmacists and financial counselors who all ensure every patient gets every aspect of their care addressed.

Additionally, we work with providers in other disciplines across Ochsner to provide care for conditions outside of the transplant, including:

If your kidneys stop working like they are supposed to, you have kidney failure. This condition cannot be cured, but it can be managed with dialysis or a kidney transplant. Health conditions that can cause kidney failure include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Glomerulonephritis — a condition that causes scar tissue to build up in the part of the kidney that filters waste and extra fluid
  • Polycystic kidney disease — cysts develop in the kidneys, eventually causing the kidneys to lose function

Some medical conditions can increase your risk of kidney failure, including:

  • Chronic kidney infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Lupus
  • Obesity
  • Untreated strep infections

People with Type 1 diabetes are usually the recipients of a kidney-pancreas transplant. However, in certain cases, the procedure may be considered for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Many people with Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions that have led to kidney failure may be candidates for kidney transplant. A transplant can be performed before a patient starts dialysis — a “preemptive” transplant — or shortly after they begin dialysis — an “early” transplant. Long-term outcomes may be better for these patients.

Patients who have kidney transplants have freedom from dialysis. These patients have an improved quality of life and can enjoy a more active lifestyle. They also may live longer than patients on dialysis.

A simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant reduces the long-term health risks associated with Type 1 diabetes. Some people with Type 1 diabetes will have their kidneys start to fail at a young age. Getting a kidney transplant can help prolong their life, and receiving a pancreas transplant at the same time helps the body better control blood sugar levels. Ideally, this can prolong the health of the new kidney, as well as preventing diabetes-related conditions such as vision loss from retinopathy, heart disease, heart attack and nerve damage.

Unlike most types of organ transplants, kidneys can come from either living or deceased donors. Almost a third of Ochsner kidney transplant patients receive an organ from a living donor. Some kidney-pancreas transplant patients also receive a kidney from a living donor and a transplanted pancreas from a deceased donor.

The Ochsner Living Donor Kidney Program helps would-be kidney donors connect with patients in need of a transplant. Ochsner also participates in two national kidney paired donation programs that will swap kidneys from living donors to patients who match.

During a pancreas transplant, a person whose pancreas isn’t working appropriately receives a healthy pancreas from a donor.

The main reason for pancreas transplant is diabetes, mainly Type 1 diabetes. When a person has Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t produce insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar), and the patient is dependent on insulin injections. A pancreas transplant allows the new pancreas to produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels without insulin injections and prevent diabetes from getting worse or causing additional complications.

In most cases, the pancreas is transplanted alongside a kidney transplant. However, there are two other forms of pancreas transplant:

  • Pancreas transplant alone — This procedure, which transplants the pancreas alone, is performed on patients with diabetes who have good kidney function but have problems controlling blood sugar levels or experience other diabetic complications despite good medical management.
  • Pancreas transplant after kidney transplantation — In this case, the pancreas transplant is performed after the patient has received a kidney transplant, usually from a living donor. This surgery is an option for patients who still have diabetes after their kidney transplant and are exposed to the progressive complications of diabetes.

Along with medical treatment, Ochsner works to address the emotional, financial and practical support issues often faced by transplant patients and their families. This supportive care includes:

  • Housing. On-site housing at the Brent House Hotel is available at an affordable rate for eligible patients.
  • Medication. Our dedicated transplant pharmacy makes it easy to get the immunosuppressant medications that help prevent rejection.
  • Patient assistance. We have a dedicated staff member who helps patients navigate paperwork for financial assistance.
  • Support groups. Discuss your situation with other patients who understand in one of our transplant support groups.

The Ochsner Transplant Institute provides consistent follow-up information to all referring physicians via written correspondence. You’ll be kept abreast of initial clinic visits, surgery, hospital discharge and routine follow-up visits to the clinic. After surgery, our team continues to monitor for transplant-related complications and regulates maintenance immunosuppression.

Community providers, transplant specialists and patient self-referrals can quickly complete transplant referrals by visiting

Patients can also be referred by calling 504-842-3925, faxing over referrals to 504-842-3343 or by emailing referrals to:


It’s important to do everything your doctor tells you to do, such as taking your medications as prescribed. But you also need to keep up with your routine medical care while you are waiting for a transplant. If you are not up to date on screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer or colon cancer, you will be delayed from going on the transplant list.

Yes. Ochsner offers other multi-organ transplants including liver-kidney and heart-kidney.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Kidney and Kidney-Pancreas Transplants

Kidney and Kidney-Pancreas Transplants Locations

Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7