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Intestinal Transplant


Adult Intestinal Transplant

Intestinal transplantation is relatively uncommon, with many of the surgeries taking place at UCLA. We have completed one of the largest volumes of intestinal transplants in the U.S. and the world, and hold more than 20 years of experience.

We support patients through the range of intestinal rehabilitation and care, including outpatient therapy with total parenteral nutrition (TPN). We also provide intestinal transplants for patients who transition to adult care from our pediatric program.

Why Choose UCLA for Adult Intestinal Transplant?

When intestinal transplant is the recommended treatment for you, our expert physicians and surgeons offer benefits and experience other programs cannot provide:

  • Outstanding outcomes combined with personal care: Intestinal transplantation at UCLA offers state-of-the-art care from world-renowned transplant experts, resulting in consistently excellent outcomes. Learn more about our approach to care.
  • Highly personalized attention: Before, during and after transplant, our team offers individualized treatment, along with unmatched surgical expertise. Learn more about what to expect from our patient education.
  • Comprehensive intestinal rehabilitation and care: We understand how devastating and complex intestinal failure can be. We explore with you every avenue of rehabilitation and treatment for short bowel syndrome, short gut syndrome, and other illnesses and injuries that cause intestinal failure. Learn more about our intestinal rehabilitation and care.

  • Full range of transplants: In some patients, intestinal failure creates the need for other organs, such as a liver transplant. UCLA is a complete transplant hospital. Our liver transplant physicians are among the world's leading experts. In addition to specializing in other types of solid-organ transplant, we offer all four types of intestinal transplant:

    • Isolated transplant of the intestine alone
    • Liver/intestine transplant, usually provided with pancreas transplant
    • Multivisceral transplant of the liver/pancreas/intestine, with or without the stomach and/or colon
    • Modified multivisceral transplant, which does not include the liver
  • Top-ranked patient care: Our patients benefit from the technology and sophisticated services of UCLA Health, which 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.

Eligibility for Adult Intestinal Transplant

Adult intestinal transplant is a therapy of last resort for patients with intestinal failure due to injury or disease, including short bowel syndrome (also known as short gut syndrome).

To become a candidate for an intestinal transplantation:

  1. You must have intestinal failure.
  2. Physicians must expect that your remaining intestine will not adapt.
  3. You must have developed one or more life-threatening complications related to TPN (total parenteral nutrition). These conditions may include:
    • Liver disease
    • Central venous catheter (CVC) infections
    • Loss of CVC sites
    • Major fluid and electrolyte imbalances

Patients who are doing well on TPN are not candidates for intestinal transplantation. We only consider intestinal transplant when the risks from TPN exceed those of transplantation. Learn more about our intestinal rehabilitation and care.

What to Expect: Support Before, During and After a Transplant

Our years of experience in intestinal transplant, as well as in transplanting other organs, translates into exceptional care that continues long after your transplant surgery is complete. Our approach includes:

  • Personalized care: From the moment you walk into the door, through the procedure and for years to come, we take pride in our care. We engage you in in decision-making, in an individualized, culturally sensitive environment.
  • Carefully coordinated care: We try to make evaluation and appointments as thorough and convenient as possible for you and your loved ones. From evaluation through discharge, we routinely involve a range of experts, from surgeons to nutrition specialists. Our team works closely with our liver transplant experts, for patients experiencing TPN-related liver failure.
  • Rehabilitation and follow-up: Our rehabilitation and follow-up protocols are extensive. We provide rehabilitation care in our facilities, where you will work with the same team throughout the recovery process.

Learn more about what to expect from our patient education.

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