​The first simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplant in Singapore was successfully carried out last month by a team of surgeons from the National University Hospital (NUH) and Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

The transplant was supported by the Health Services Development Programme (HSDP) under the Ministry of Health (MOH). The programme promotes innovation and the adoption of advanced medical technology and protocols in public healthcare.

The successful transplant was performed at NUH. The patient, a 29-year-old Singaporean male, suffered from Type 1 diabetes and renal failure. He had been on insulin for over 15 years and on dialysis for more than a year. He has been registered on the waiting lists for both pancreas and kidney transplants since August 2011.

The five-and-a-half hour surgery was led by Associate Professor Krishnakumar Madhavan, Director of NUH’s Adult Liver and Pancreas Transplantation Programme, and performed together with Dr Victor Lee, Director, Pancreas Transplant and Consultant, Department of General Surgery, SGH; and Dr Tiong Ho Yee, Director, Kidney Surgery and Transplantation, NUH.

A pancreas transplant provides a potential cure for diabetes, particularly Type 1. It can improve the quality of life and reduce long-term diabetic complications such as kidney failure, blindness and stroke. 

The patient is recovering well and will continue to receive follow-up care at the NUH.