Purpose of Review: In this study, our goal was to analyze nearly 4 decades of experience since the first living donor pancreas transplant in 1979, focusing on what constitutes optimal donor selection and ideal post donation follow-up. When combined with a living donor kidney transplant, a living donor pancreas transplant offers patients with concurrent renal failure and diabetes the option of a single procedure: a living donor simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplant. Living donor SPK transplants not only can reduce the waiting time in areas where it is long but also, for highly sensitized patients, can electively identify a donor with a negative crossmatch. Recent Findings: Although living donor pancreas (and simultaneous pancreas-kidney) transplants were initially performed open, they evolved to laparoscopic procedures in 1999. The technical failure rates have improved over the years. Guidelines for reducing donor morbidity have incorporated the use of biochemical markers and stricter donor selection criteria. Predonation assessment of donors’ beta-cell mass may help identify those at risk of developing diabetes. Summary: Living donor pancreas transplants can be performed safely and with good outcomes; they remain an important option for highly sensitized transplant candidates and can reduce waiting time in areas where it is long. For donors, stringent selection criteria, robust predonation counseling, and meticulous postdonation follow-up are essential.
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- Donor selection
- Living donor