How is the pancreas obtained?

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Pancreas transplantation is performed because of the generosity and altruism of the donor. It is done if specified in a living will or with the permission of the family, if the person dies suddenly and no living will has been made.

Pancreas donors are all people under the age of 55, who lose their lives due to brain disease or trauma and decide to donate their organs to save the lives of others.

These people are multi-organ donors who usually donate their heart, lungs, liver and both kidneys. This involves complex surgery involving different highly specialised surgical teams to remove the organs. The operation lasts 6-8 hours, to obtain the organs in the safest way possible. Once the pancreas is removed from the donor, it has to be kept under cold storage to preserve it and make it viable for the recipient.

The donor's pancreas can be kept this way (under cold storage) for no more than 12 hours. Thus, organ transplants are always urgent and mostly performed late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

Substantiated information by:

Antonio Amor
Beatriz Enriqueta Bayés Genís
Federico Cofan  Pujol
Fritz Diekmann
Joana Ferrer Fàbrega
Mireia Musquera Felip
Pedro Ventura Abreu Aguiarà
Ramon Rull

Published: 28 March 2023
Updated: 28 March 2023


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