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Miami Transplant Institute

Pancreas and Kidney/Pancreas Transplant

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The Lillian Jean Kaplan Renal Transplant Center at the Miami Transplant Institute

There are many important things to consider when selecting a pancreas transplant center, including experience, survival rates, program longevity, participation in research, and physician and staff credentials.

The Miami Transplant Institute is considered one of the leading transplant centers in the world with a major role in kidney and kidney/pancreas transplantation. MTI has been performing pancreas transplants since October 1996 and kidney/pancreas transplants since June 1990.

In 2010, MTI received national recognition for extraordinary performance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The pancreas transplant program was one of only a few transplant programs in the United States to be recognized at the Bronze level, and one of only 22 pancreas programs to receive the honor. The pancreas program received Bronze level recognition.

The awards are presented by the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, which was established in 2003 by HHS to ensure best practices at all hospitals performing transplants. The awards are based on performance in three categories: graft survival one year after transplant, transplant rate, and mortality rate after being placed on the transplant list.

MTI is a collaborative endeavor between University of Miami Health System/Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

MTI performs 20 to 30 simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) and Pancreas alone transplants per year. A multidisciplinary team of medical professionals and patient advocates work together to increase access to transplantation and improve quality of life.

Criteria for Pancreas and Kidney/Pancreas Transplantation



  • Initiation of dialysis therapy or kidney function of 20% or less (calculated or measured)
  • Infants (10kg) to adults (no age limit)
  • No evidence of cancer within two years (other than skin cancer)
  • No evidence of severe cardiac disease (cardiomyopathy, low ejection fraction or ischemic heart disease)
  • No evidence of severe pulmonary pathology
  • Hepatitis B and C without cirrhosis (evaluated by liver biopsy)
  • HIV infection on HAART therapy may qualify for a current study protocol


  • Ability to follow a complex medical regime of medication and post transplant follow up (compliance) by oneself or by an identified support person
  • Identified support system available
  • Coverage for medications
  • Transportation


  • Active infections
  • Hepatitis B or C with documented cirrhosis on liver biopsy
  • HIV positive and not on HAART therapy
  • Evidence of current alcohol or substance abuse
  • Morbid obesity (BMI >35) – unless all vascular access has failed
  • Current psychiatric or psychological pathology
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Referral Process

All referrals must come from a health care professional. If you are currently on dialysis, your dialysis center will need to refer you. If you are not on dialysis but are experiencing renal failure, your nephrologist will refer you. If you are being evaluated for a pancreas transplant, your endocrinologist will submit a referral.

Once your referral has been forwarded to our center, we invite you to take the mandatory class. After completing the class, please bring the test results to the first appointment.

After completing the class, please download the test, complete, and bring to your first appointment. If you do not complete the class and test prior to your visit, you will be required to attend a scheduled class appointment.

Please take the time to review the following informative documents that will be discussed with you at your first appointment.

Referral Form
Check List for Referral
Criteria for Kidney Transplantation
Mandatory Class and Class Test
• Video Evaluation (needs link)
• Preparing for the Procedure (needs link -anchor)

Contact us for more information, or call 305-355-5241 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

Miami Transplant Institute
Kidney Referral Area
1801 NW 9th Avenue, Fifth Floor
Miami, FL 33136

After your referral is recieved the time before you will receive an appointment varies depending upon your insurance plan. If your carrier is contracted with the University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health System, an MTI representative will contact you to go over the referral and issue an appointment and class date. If your insurance carrier is not contracted with MTI, your referral will need approval from the MTI Finance Team before making an appointment.

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Initial Appointment

You will need to bring any cardiac (electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress test, and cardiac clearance) and diagnostic testing results (ultrasounds and x-rays) done in the last six months. If you are over 50, you should bring your most recent colonoscopy results, including the pathology report. If you are a woman over 25, you should bring the results of your last pap smear, and if you are over 40, your last pap smear and mammogram reports.

If you are currently under the care of a specialist for a specific disease, for example, hepatitis or Lupus, you should bring your most recent physician visit notes. You will be sent a package that will include a medication list that should be completed prior to your initial appointment.

The first appointment with the Transplant Team consists of:
Physician, Nurse Coordinator, Social Worker, Dietician, lab work

Please bring:

  • Any additional medical records and testing done by Nephrologist, PCP, GYN, and Dietician
  • Copy of most recent labs for Dietician
  • Copies of driver’s license and all insurance cards
  • A sweater
  • A snack

Your evaluation will consist of the following tests:

  • Bladder ultrasound-if indicated
  • Gallbladder/Abdominal ultrasound (good for 2 years)
  • Cardiac evaluation (annual)
    One of the most important aspects of evaluation. Includes EKG, echo, stress test. Cardiac catheterization if indicated
  • Chest x-ray (annual)
  • TB test (annual)
  • Immunizations
    Pneumovax-good for 5 years. Hepatitis B vaccine. Varicella Titer-Zoster IGG
  • Gynecological evaluation (done by PCP, good for 2 years, unless indicated otherwise)
  • Vascular studies

Optional Testing:

  • Pulmonary evaluation
  • CT of abdomen/pelvis (PKD)
  • UGI/endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy (PCP)
  • Dental evaluation
  • Sustacal Challenge Test (SPK)
  • Ophthalmology evaluation
  • Hepatology consult/liver biopsy-hepatitis (PCP)
  • All other consults
  • Any other testing as directed by your Past medical history

Diagnostic testing will be arranged by the Transplant Center to be performed at UM/JMH.

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Transplant Options

  • Living Related Donor (LRD)
  • Living Unrelated Donor (LURD)
  • Living Paired Donor
  • Deceased Donor Waiting List

The average waiting time for MTI kidney transplant patients to receive their new organ is 2 to 3 years, shorter than most centers.

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Transplant Preparation

Accommodations near the medical campus:

Transplant House
Jackson Towers
1500 NW 12th Avenue, 7th floor West
Miami, FL 33136
Phone: 305-585-1500

Marriott SpringHill Suites Miami Arts/Health District
1311 NW 10th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
Phone: 305-575-5300; toll-free 800-228-9290; fax 305-575-5301

Should you require additional housing options, please discuss your needs with your transplant social worker.

Your responsibilities while listed:

  • Keep testing updated annually
    • Cardiac
    • Chest x-ray
    • TB
  • Every other year (unless otherwise indicated)
    • Gallbladder US
    • Gynecological
  • Visit transplant center every 6 months
  • Notify transplant team of any changes in address, phone, insurance or travel
  • Must send monthly PRA
  • Notify transplant team of any changes in health or medical urgency issues
    • Out of vascular access

When you are called:

  • You may be called any time of the day or night.
  • Once called, you will have to go to RMSB, 8th Floor to get new labs drawn.
  • If on dialysis, finish your treatment before going to have your labs drawn.
  • You must remain on stand-by for up to 24 hours.
  • You will be called again to return to the hospital if you are a match for the donor.
  • You may have multiple “dry-runs” before your actual transplant occurs.

Where to go:

Step 1 LABS:
Located at:
University of Miami Rosenstiel Building (RMSB) Tissue Typing Lab
1600 NW 10th Ave, 8th Floor, Room 8161
Miami, FL 33136
(305) 243- 4556

Parking located next door at:
Park Plaza West
1611 NW 12th Ave
Miami, FL 33136
Accessible through NW 12th Ave and NW 16th Street

Once confirmed for transplant, proceed to Holtz admitting located at:
1611 NW 12th Ave
Miami, FL 33136
Parking is available at Park Plaza West. Follow side walk East and Northeast to Holtz admitting.

Once admitted, exit Holtz and enter main hospital to the right in the West Wing. Access elevators to the 15th floor and proceed down hallway to nurses station to check in.

You will be transported to the operating rooms located in the Diagnostic Treatment Center.

View Map

What to bring:

  • List of meds
  • Essential toiletries
  • PD Supplies
  • If you need financial assistance, bring copy of income tax papers

Don't bring:

  • Valuables
  • Plants or flowers
  • Visitors under the age of 14 years
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Your Transplant

Surgery time:

  • Simultaneous Pancreas/Kidney (SPK) 6-12 hours
  • Pancreas 4-6 hours

Time in hospital:

  • Discharge teaching will begin from time of admission for transplant and have support system available.
  • Discharge when medically stable, even if you may not feel ready
  • SPK 7 days

Will your new Pancreas or Kidney/Pancreas work right away?

Most organs work immediately. Some take a period of time to begin functioning. The patient may require a dialysis session(s) for the kidney until kidney function is established and supplemental insulin if pancreas function is delayed

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Post Transplant

Rejection of the Kidney


Outpatient Care:
Discharge Instructions
General Health Considerations
Care for Wounds
Discharge Medicine
Care of a Urinary Catheter at Home

Lab work:
WBCs, Bun, Creatinine

Support groups:
Monthly Support Groups

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Kidney Transplant Team

Physician Team:


George W. Burke, III, M.D., F.A.C.S
Chief, Division of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation
Director, Lillian Jean Kaplan Renal Transplantation Center
Professor of Surgery.

Gaetano Ciancio, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S.
Institute Director, Miami Transplant Institute
Director, Urologic Transplant Surgery
Professor of Surgery and Urology.

Linda Chen, M.D.
Surgical Director Living Donor Program
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery

Junichiro Sageshima, M.D.
Director, Abdominal Organ Fellowship Program
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery

Nephrology (Adult):

David Roth, M.D.
Wm. Way Anderson Professor of Nephrology
Director of Clinical Services
Medical Director, Renal Transplantation

Warren L. Kupin, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Medicine

Giselle Guerra, M.D.
Medical Director, Living Kidney Donor Program
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Transplant Fellowship Director

Adela Mattiazzi, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine

Nephrology (Pediatric):

Carolyn L. Abitbol, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Pediatric Dialysis

Gaston E. Zilleruelo, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics
Division Director and Fellowship Program Director

Jayanthi J. Chandar, M.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Nephrology

Wacharee Seeherunvong, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics


Ernesto A. Pretto, M.D.
Professor, Anesthesiology
Chief, Division of Solid Organ Transplant & Vascular Anestheriology

Kyota Fukazawa, M.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Vinaya Manmohansingh, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Vadim B. Shatz, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Todd J. Smaka, M.D
Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Fouad G. Souki, M.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology

Administration, Nursing, and Support Staff:

Michelle Gascon
Transplant Nurse Manager, Kidney & Pancreas
Zoila Zoila Chediak
Clinical Program Coordinator
Pre-transplant Patient Scheduling and Appointments


Shirlene L. Hazel, RN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Sobeida Jerez, RN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator
Elaine Llewellynn, R.N, M.S,N,C.N
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Suze Petit, RN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Tamika Hill-Matthie RN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Jimmy Herrera RN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Catherine Dillardscowby RN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Yvette Torres, LPN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Post Transplant:

Grethchen Abdulreda, RN, BSN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator
Delvis Jorge, RN, BSN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator
Ester Montenora-Velarde, RN, BSN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Herminia Alvarez, RN
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Gema Velez, ARNP
Clinical Transplant Coordinator

Living Donor:

Josefina Aixala, RN
Living Donor Coordinator

Maria Mithavayani, RN
Living Donor Coordinator

Social Workers:

Ana Jewett, M.S.W.
Adult Pre and Post Kidney/Pancreas Support

Adriana Webster, M.S.W.
Adult Pre and Post Kidney/Pancreas Support

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Miami Transplant Institute