Intestinal Transplant General Information FAQ

When were intestinal transplants first performed?

Early attempts at intestinal transplant began over 40 years ago, although clinical success has been achieved only over the past 10 years.

Why has it been more difficult to achieve success in intestinal transplants compared to other solid organ transplants?

Despite improved immunosuppression, the intestine offers more rejection than other organs. Rejection of the intestine is also difficult to diagnose since there are no biochemical (blood) tests to indicate rejection. To prevent intestinal rejection, patients require higher doses of immunosuppression than with other types of transplantation. Now, because of new, more specific anti-rejection medications, the success of intestinal transplant has improved dramatically. For the latest data on results, see the Intestinal Transplant Registry.

How many patients have received intestinal transplants?

Since 1985, data compiled by the international Intestinal Transplant Registry report that 55 intestinal transplant programs have done 601 transplants, of which 402 were performed in children.

Who pays for intestinal transplants?

With improved survival rates, most health insurers and other third-party payers now cover intestinal transplantation.