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Intestinal transplant (small bowel transplant) is a lifesaving treatment for short bowel syndrome and intestinal failure. It helps people who may no longer be able to receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN) — liquid nutrition given intravenously.
UCLA Health is one of just a few programs in the West — and among the premier programs in the world — for intestinal transplant. We have expertly performed multivisceral transplantation since 1991. We provide all types of intestinal transplantation as well as intestinal rehabilitation.
Why choose UCLA Health for intestinal and multivisceral transplant?
Our expert physicians and surgeons offer benefits and experience other programs cannot provide:
- Unmatched expertise: Only about a dozen specialized programs in the U.S. offer small bowel transplant, which requires a very specific skill set and expertise. At UCLA Health, we have performed more than 150 intestinal transplants. We offer this advanced care as part of our comprehensive services. Learn more about our approach to care.
- Outstanding outcomes: Intestinal transplantation at UCLA includes state-of-the-art care from world-renowned transplant experts. Our patients have consistently excellent results, with survival rates equal to or better than those of other leading programs. See our results.
- Highly personalized evaluation and care: Before, during and after transplant, you receive individualized treatment from our experienced intestinal failure care team. Meet our team.
- Comprehensive gut rehabilitation and care: We explore every avenue to treat short bowel syndrome (short gut), intestinal failure, and other illnesses and injuries that cause intestinal failure. We have ways of supporting your health so you can avoid complications that may lead to transplantation.
- Top-ranked patient care: UCLA Health consistently ranks Best in the West and among the top 5 hospitals in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals survey.
- Support before, during and after intestinal transplant: Our years of transplant experience translate into exceptional care that continues long after your transplant surgery is complete. Our patient education tells you more about what to expect.
Types of intestinal and multivisceral transplants we offer
Some people with intestinal failure also need multivisceral transplant (transplant of multiple organs). UCLA is a complete transplant hospital with experts in all types of transplantation.
- Small bowel transplant: Surgeons transplant only the intestine.
- Combined intestine and liver transplant: In addition to a small bowel transplant, you may have a liver transplant. Our physicians are among the world’s leading liver transplant experts.
- Multivisceral transplant: A multivisceral transplant often includes a pancreas transplant. Some people also receive a stomach or colon transplant.
- Modified multivisceral transplant: You receive transplantation of a stomach, pancreas and intestine.
Who is eligible for adult intestinal transplant?
Small bowel transplant is a therapy of last resort for patients with intestinal failure from injury or disease. A common cause of intestinal failure is short bowel syndrome (also known as short gut syndrome). People with this condition are missing part of the intestine.
Patients who do well on TPN are not candidates for intestinal transplantation. We only consider intestinal transplant when the risks from TPN exceed those of transplantation.
To become a candidate for an intestinal transplantation, you must have:
- Intestinal failure
- No expectation by your doctors that your remaining intestine will adapt
- One or more life-threatening complication related to TPN, such as:
- Central venous catheter (CVC) infections
- Liver disease
- Loss of CVC sites
- Major fluid and electrolyte imbalances
- Severe porto-spleno-mesenteric vein thrombosis (clotting)
- Certain tumors of the intestine or mesentery (tissue that holds your intestine in place)
Other small bowel therapies we offer
In many cases, treatments other than transplant can resolve severe problems. Even if another medical center has told you that a transplant is your best option, we may have surgical or nonsurgical treatment options. Our team of experts works together to advise you on the right care. Learn about intestinal rehabilitation and care.
Your care may include:
- Central venous access: TPN requires careful maintenance of intravenous (IV) access. Our experts can provide longer-lasting IV access.
- Wound and stoma care: You receive specialized wound care and management of stomas (an opening on your skin connected to your intestine). We offer precision surgeries to improve TPN access and waste removal.
- Intestinal lengthening: Surgical specialty procedures may eliminate the need for an intestinal transplant. We offer gut-lengthening surgeries, including serial transverse enteroplasty procedure (STEP).
- Surgical reconstruction: Our surgeons have years of experience in developing surgical reconstructive techniques to allow your intestine to function better or fully.
- Parenteral nutrition support: Our team offers deep knowledge about parenteral nutrition. We support your nutrition needs and help manage your nutrition. We have special expertise in lipid emulsion formulations.
To schedule an evaluation, please call the UCLA Liver and Intestinal Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgery Program Line at 310-825-8138