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About Intestinal Transplant

Intestinal transplant is a surgical procedure aiming to resolve intestinal failure as well as manage other complications related to parenteral nutrition (PN). Conditions that may generate a need for intestinal transplant which may be detected at birth or during its development over time.

Need for Intestinal Transplant

Various acute and chronic ailments may affect the functioning of the intestinal and may require intestinal transplants. Some of the conditions are listed below:

Type of Intestinal Transplant

There are different types of intestinal transplants suggested for a patient, depending upon the severity of the condition and the overall health status of the patient.

  • Costs

    Rs 25 Lakh

  • Stay at Hospital

    2 Weeks

  • Back to work

    3 - 6 Months

Pre- Intestinal Transplant evaluation

Before undergoing transplant, you may need to undergo rigorous evaluation, which includes:

General health exam: This usually includes a physical examination and cancer screening tests to evaluate your overall health.

Blood tests: There are different blood tests that you may need to undergo to know about gene compatibility.

Imaging tests: Various tests like CT scan, MRI, or PET scan may be recommended to look for any abnormality in the organs.

Social and psychological evaluation: These evaluations are done to assess your overall stress, financial issues, and support by your friends and family.

Ultrasound: Ultrasound is done with the help of sound waves creates a picture of the internal organs, and it gives the inside picture of the organ. Endorectal ultrasounds are commonly performed to find in case of cancer and how deeply rectal cancer has grown. It also helps plan treatment.

Colonoscopy: Colonoscopy helps the doctor to look inside the entire colon for any abnormality. In this procedure, a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. There is a tiny video camera at the tip of the tube that gives the pictures.

Waiting Period

There are more patients in need of an intestinal transplant than the bowel donated. Hence, the waiting list is long in India. While being on the waiting list for organ, your doctor will start the other treatment and plan a treatment that will keep you in stable condition and prepare you for your upcoming transplant procedure. Keep your doctor informed about any changes your experience about your health and get a consultation.

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The Intestinal Transplant process

Step 1
Urgent call In case the hospital where you have registered for your transplant received the organ, they will immediately call you and admit you.

Step 2
Evaluation After you are admitted, you will undergo various tests and evaluations to assess if you are healthy enough to undergo transplant surgery.

Step 3
Anesthesia Once you are cleared by your doctor for surgery. You will be taken to the operation theatre, and anesthesia will be given to numb the pain.

Step 4
Ventilator Depending upon the health condition, some patient's may need ventilator support.

Step 5
Incision Your doctor will make an incision in the abdomen to have access to your intestine.

Step 6
Abdomen evaluation An evaluation will be done to look for abnormalities in the intestine and other organs around it.

Step 7
Removal of the intestine At this step, your intestine will be removed (together with other organs in case of a multi-visceral transplant), and the appropriate donated organ(s) will be placed into the abdomen.

Step 8
Stoma A stoma is an opening surgically-created in the small bowel or colon (respectively ileostomy and colostomy), which allows the transplant team to monitor the transplanted organ. After some time, usually 6 to 12, the stoma will be closed.

Step 9
Gastrojejunostomy feeding tube In some cases, gastrojejunostomy tube inserted during the operation through the skin and into the GI tract. One end is in the stomach. It is usually used to decompress the stomach or to administer medications. This tube is usually removed after and reasonable nutritional independence is achieved. In some cases, this tube is not placed.

Step 10
Closure After the procedure is complete, an incision is closed.

Complications of Intestinal Transplant

As with every surgical procedure, the risk of complications is there, and intestinal transplant is also not an exception. However, it is not mandatory that a patient develops such complications, but it is good to be aware of them. Below-mentioned are some of the common complications linked with intestinal Transplant:

Post-intestinal Transplant Procedure

After the surgery is completed, you will be taken to a recovery room for a few hours, where you will be under observation. Once the doctor feels you are in stable condition, you will be shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU), where you are observed closely for several days, and your vitals will be monitored.

Frequently blood samples will be taken to check the new bowel. The doctors will also keep a check that other organs like the lungs, kidney, and circulatory system are all working well. Anti-rejection medicines will be administered and watched closely to be sure that the patients are getting the right dose and mixing the right medicines. You will initially be started on a liquid diet, and gradually you may have a regular diet with no restrictions.

You may have to stay in hospital for 4-6 weeks. When your doctor feels you are stable, you will be shifted to a normal ward. Gradually, you will be able to walk and move around for a long duration. The doctor will then guide you how to take care of yourself when you go home.

Life after Intestinal Transplant

An intestinal transplant can improve the quality of life of the patients significantly. However, there are certain measures and practices that you need to follow to live a normal and healthy life.

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