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Intestine Transplant

Intestinal transplant is a surgical procedure that aims to resolve intestinal failure as well as other complications related to parenteral nutrition (PN).  It may be detected at birth or during its development over time.

 

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)

The human body needs nutrients for the normal functioning of the rest of its organs. If they can’t be received due to intestinal failure, there are taken in intravenously through total parenteral nutrition wherein a catheter is inserted in the neck, arm, chest or groin area of the patient. Since continuous use of a catheter involves increased possibility of infections, bone dislocation and liver diseases, an intestinal transplant becomes the only long term solution for intestinal failure.

 

Eligibility for Intestine Transplant

As mentioned above, intestinal failure may happen at birth or at a later stage. Intestine transplant may be needed in the case of:

  • Short gut syndrome
  • Complications arising from TPN. These include inability to find additional undamaged veins to insert the catheter, movement of bones due to continued insertion and, infection
  • Liver complications

A patient is also expected to undergo certain tests such as endoscopy and CT scan of the abdomen to determine his/her body health and in turn, eligibility. A patient may be rejected if he/she;

  • Has a serious illness and/or cancer
  • Is not dedicated to receiving treatment and getting better
  • Is beyond 60 years of age

 

Types of Intestine Transplants

Basis results received from the above evaluation, a patient is recommended to undergo either one of the following transplants:

  • Intestine only
  • Modified multi-visceral transplant including all organs except the liver
  • Combined liver and intestine with pancreas transplant
  • Full multi-visceral transplant including the stomach, duodenum, pancreas, intestine and liver

Multi-visceral transplants are considered when the underlying condition significantly compromises other sections of the digestive system as listed above.