Tiffany Buchta, one month after her kidney-pancreas transplant. [NOTE TO VIEWER: The other photos in this slideshow are of Tiffany’s transplant surgery.] (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)
St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra records surgeons Dr. Mark Earl (left), Dr. Jason Wellen (center), and Dr. Majella Doyle (right) during Tiffany Buchta’s transplant surgery. (Judy Martin Finch)
The surgeons sew a piece of duodenum (small intestine) from the transplanted pancreas to Tiffany’s own intestine. This will allow the digestive enzymes produced by the transplanted pancreas to be excreted as waste. (Véronique LaCapra)
The surgeons adjust the placement of the metal retractors that hold Tiffany’s abdomen open during surgery. (Véronique LaCapra)
Before being transplanted, the donated kidney is kept cold on a bed of ice. (Véronique LaCapra)
The surgeons sew in the vein of the pancreas. (Véronique LaCapra)
Tiffany’s transplanted kidney (top left, dark pink) and pancreas (center). (Véronique LaCapra)
Dr. Mark Earl holds Tiffany’s appendix, preparing to remove it. (Véronique LaCapra)
The surgeons remove Tiffany’s appendix with a stapling device. (Véronique LaCapra)
The surgeons make sure there are no kinks in Tiffany’s intestine before closing her abdomen after surgery. (Véronique LaCapra)
The surgeons prepare to close Tiffany’s incision. (Véronique LaCapra)
Dr. Mark Earl stitches Tiffany’s abdominal wall. (Véronique LaCapra)
Dr. Mark Earl staples Tiffany’s incision. (Véronique LaCapra)
The surgeons remove the adhesive, iodine-impregnated plastic sheet that protected Tiffany’s skin during surgery. (Véronique LaCapra)
Type 2 diabetes – the kind related to obesity and an unhealthy diet – gets a lot of attention these days. But there’s another, less common, form of the disease – type 1 – that can also lead to life-threatening complications.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra takes us behind the scenes at a local hospital, for the transplant operation that got one St. Louis-area woman off dialysis, and made her diabetes-free.