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Methodist Transplant Institute Offers Life-Saving Pancreas Removal Alternative

Discover how pancreas removal by Dr. Dickerman at Methodist Transplant Institute in Dallas gave two sisters hope for a healthy, new life!

Like most sisters, Lauren and Megan share many things, such as a teaching career, music and family. Until recently, they also shared a painful family history of pancreatitis, which includes their grandfather who died of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatitis is a genetic disease causing the pancreas to become inflamed, resulting in sudden and severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Lauren relates her pancreatitis experience saying, “I would have an attack several times a year with very bad stomach pain and a lot of nausea and vomiting.” For Megan, the painful episodes could last for weeks at a time.

Everything changed when they visited Methodist Dallas Medical Center and met Dr. Richard M. Dickerman, Surgical Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program. He offered a new alternative for improved health: complete pancreas removal. While it may not be an option for all patients, Dr. Dickerman says, “In the case of Lauren and Megan, the only function their pancreas had was to ruin their lives.” After hearing this, one might ask how a person’s body can function properly without a pancreas: Patients who undergo pancreas removal, or a pancreatectomy, take enzyme pills to assist with digestive function post-surgery.

The pancreas removal surgery likely saved Megan's life as testing revealed pre-cancerous cells on her pancreas. “Dr. Dickerman saved our lives,” said Megan. “We can’t put into words how much we love and appreciate him.”

Before the life-saving surgery performed by Dr. Dickerman here in Dallas, traveling even short distances was nearly impossible. Today, Megan and her family are planning a vacation to Florida while Lauren and her family are going to Hawaii. Recently, Dr. Dickerman and his wife met the sisters for lunch and states, “They are totally different people – healthy, no pain and living a normal life.”

Find out more about pancreas removal options, Dr. Dickerman and the Methodist Transplant Institute at Methodist Dallas Medial Center on our website or call 214.947.4400 for more information.