Thursday, September 7, 2017

First Pancreas Transplant Marks Another Milestone for Loyola Medicine's Transplant Program

MAYWOOD, IL –  Loyola Medicine's solid organ transplant program has reached another major milestone with the successful performance of its first pancreas transplant.

The transplant was performed July 30 on Anthony Law, a 61-year-old Type 1 diabetes patient.
Mr. Law had "brittle" diabetes, characterized by extreme, life-threatening swings in blood sugar levels.

Since his transplant, Mr. Law's blood sugar levels have been steady. He no longer has to take insulin and has not experienced life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Mr. Law's blood sugars are now within the normal, non-diabetic range.

The pancreas transplant program is headed by medical director Amishi Desai, DO, and surgical director Raquel Garcia Roca, MD. Prior to joining Loyola, Dr. Garcia Roca performed more than 75 pancreas transplants at other centers.

"For Type 1 diabetes patients who are experiencing serious complications from their disease, pancreas transplants can be a potential cure," Dr. Garcia Roca said.

Depending on the patient, future pancreas transplant surgeries at Loyola will involve transplanting a pancreas in combination with a kidney or a transplanting a pancreas alone.

The pancreas transplant program was approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, after a year of careful planning involving many physicians, nurses and other clinicians from multiple disciplines.

Loyola is one of only three centers in Illinois that perform transplants on five major solid transplant organs: heart, lung, kidney, liver and pancreas.

Loyola began its solid organ transplant program in 1971 with its first kidney transplant. Loyola established Chicago's first heart transplant program in 1984, Chicago's first lung transplant program in 1988 and its liver transplant program in 1997. In 2016, Loyola had a record-setting year with 246 solid organ transplants and also successfully transplanted ten organs into six patients in 22 hours.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH) on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center, a children's hospital, and Loyola Outpatient Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 247-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

About Trinity Health

Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 93 hospitals, as well as 122 continuing care programs that include PACE, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $17.6 billion and assets of $23.4 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 131,000 colleagues, including 7,500 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit You can also follow @TrinityHealthMI on Twitter.