Pancreas Transplant Program Cured Patient's Diabetes | Loyola Medicine
Friday, March 2, 2018

Loyola Medicine's New Pancreas Transplant Program Cured Patient's Type 1 Diabetes

Illustration of a pancreas

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine's newly launched pancreas transplant program has cured patient Anthony Law of his life-threatening type 1 diabetes.

Before his transplant, Mr. Law had "brittle" diabetes, characterized by extreme swings in blood sugar levels. His diabetes was so out of control that Mr. Law's family had to wake him up every two hours to ensure his sugars were in a normal range.

Since his transplant, Mr. Law's blood sugar levels have been steady. He no longer has to take insulin and he has not experienced life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
"The surgery for me has been phenomenal, because I can do things now that I wasn't able to do," Mr. Law said.
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.
The pancreas produces hormones such as insulin to control sugar levels. The organ also makes proteins to help digest food.
"For Type 1 diabetes patients who are experiencing serious complications from their disease, pancreas transplants can be a potential cure," Dr. Garcia Roca said.
Dr. Desai added: "Nothing gives the transplant team more satisfaction than seeing a patient off insulin and off medications, with the ability to do everything they previously may not have been able to do because of the restrictions of their disease."
Loyola Medicine now is one of only three centers in Illinois that perform transplants on five major solid transplant organs: heart, lung, kidney, liver and pancreas.
The pancreas transplant program was approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, after more than a year of careful planning involving many physicians, nurses and other clinicians from multiple disciplines.

About Loyola Medicine

Loyola Medicine is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH) in Melrose Park, MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from more than 1,750 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. The medical center campus is also home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. GMH is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital with 150 physician offices, 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. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments in a convenient community setting at eight locations. Loyola Medicine is a member of Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems with 94 hospitals in 22 states.

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.