Memorial Healthcare System Launches First Pancreas Transplant Program in Broward County

April 25, 2023

dr. basit javaid and dr. seyed ghasemian looking at patient chart

Memorial Healthcare System has launched a new pancreas transplant program, complementing Memorial Transplant Institute’s existing pediatric and adult kidney and heart transplant services. This new program is a significant step forward in the field of organ transplantation in Broward County, as it is the only one offering patients with diabetes and other related conditions a chance at a new life with a healthy pancreas.

Abdominal transplant program at Memorial is led by two renowned experts in the field: Basit Javaid, MD, a transplant nephrologist with more than 25 years of experience facilitating transplantation with excellent post-transplant outcomes for patients, serves as chief of Abdominal Transplant Medicine; and Seyed Ghasemian, MD, who has more than 30 years of experience with organ transplantations, serves as chief of Abdominal Transplant Surgery Program.

"With the addition of the pancreas transplant program, we further enhance our reputation as a leading transplant center in the region, with the advanced expertise to take on the most complex cases," said Dr. Javaid. "Together, our transplant nephrologists, surgeons, nurse coordinators, dieticians, social workers, and other healthcare specialists are committed to ensuring positive outcomes for our patients."

The Need

Patients experiencing kidney failure due to having insulin-dependent diabetes could qualify for a simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant (SPK), affording a cure to both diabetes and kidney failure.

According to CDC estimates, of almost 130,000 persons in the US who initiated treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in 2020, nearly 60,000 had diabetes as the underlying cause of kidney failure. Some of these patients would be best suited for SPK transplants.

“Pancreas transplants occur most often in conjunction with kidney transplants for patients who have advanced kidney disease caused by diabetes,” said Dr. Javaid. “A simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant will treat a patient’s kidney disease, freeing them from dialysis, as well as the requirement for blood sugar monitoring and insulin – a remarkable improvement in their quality of life.”

Memorial ’s pancreas transplant program received approval from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) in April 2023.

"The launch of the pancreas transplant program is an important milestone for Memorial Transplant Institute and its team of experts who continue to reach new heights for the benefit of their patients and families,” said Peter Powers, CEO of Memorial Regional Hospital, which houses the Institute.

The pancreas is a large organ behind the stomach that produces insulin to regulate blood sugar and helps with digestion. When it produces little or no insulin, as is the case with people with diabetes, the body can’t sustain its blood sugar in a normal range. Serious medical complications can occur, including kidney disease, heart attack, stroke, and premature death.

For more information, please call 954-265-7450.

About Memorial Transplant Institute

Memorial Transplant Institute, based at Memorial Regional Hospital and including Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, is the only program in Broward County to offer adult and pediatric heart and kidney transplants, and adult pancreas transplants. Memorial Healthcare System has received various federal approvals from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing), authorizing: Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital’s pediatric heart transplant program in 2010; Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute’s adult heart transplant program in 2014; the adult and pediatric kidney transplant program in 2017; and the pancreas transplant program in 2023.