Condition of Pioneering Transplant Patient Worsens
Apr. 25, 1989
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Silver Spring, Md., man, who became the first patient in the country to receive a new heart and pancreas at the same time, was reported Tuesday in critical but guarded condition after his pancreas was surgically removed.
Barry Katz, 45, a longtime diabetic whose pancreas had virtually destroyed his heart, underwent surgery Monday night to remove the pancreas because a peptic ulcer had developed on an adjoining section of bowel, Washington Hospital Center spokeswoman Clare Fiore said.
Katz, a Defense Department physicist, underwent surgery on March 25.
He was initially given an 80 percent chance of surviving a year. Hospital offiicals now refuse to comment on his chances.
Katz's body did not reject the organ, Ms. Fiore said. She said another transplant may be attempted, but Katz's condition would have to stabilize first.
Tests are expected to be completed Friday that will determine what caused the ulcer. The pancreas itself will also be examined to determine if an infection existed and, if it did, contributed to the ulcer.
The pancreas is supposed to produce insulin, the hormone that regulates the body's metabolism of sugar. When the organ doesn't function properly, patients develop diabetes and often have to rely on insulin injections and constant monitoring to survive.