Intestinal Transplant for Crohn's Disease
Intestinal transplant is a relatively new surgery for people whose intestines are failing. In some cases of severe Reference Crohn's disease Opens New Window or other illnesses, most of the Reference small intestine Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window may be removed. Some people have so much of their small intestine removed that their bodies no longer can absorb nutrients (short bowel syndrome). People with no functioning small intestine must receive nutrition through intravenous (IV) feeding, which is called total parenteral nutrition (TPN). TPN treatment can have life-threatening complications, including infection and liver failure.
During an intestinal transplant, a surgeon transplants the small intestine of a cadaver into a person with Crohn's disease. In some cases, the liver or other digestive organs may be transplanted at the same time.
An intestinal transplant is an extremely difficult procedure that is done in only a few medical centers. A small percentage of people with Crohn's disease are considered for this surgery. Intestinal transplants carry a high risk of death during surgery and of complications, including Reference rejection Opens New Window of the new organs. People who have organ transplants must take medicines that prevent their body from rejecting the organ. Those medicines increase the risk of infections.
For more information about intestinal transplant, see the topic Organ Transplant.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 8, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology