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Small Bowel Transplantation

Living-donor small intestine transplants — in which a portion of the organ is taken from a compatible donor, usually a close family member — have outcomes comparable to cadaveric transplants. UI Health has performed more than two-thirds of all living-donor small bowel transplants in the U.S., and is the only hospital in the country to offer the procedure.

The first adult living-donor bowel transplantation was performed by Dr. Enrico Benedetti at UI Health in 1998, and UI Health has the largest living-donor intestinal transplantation program in the world.

Recent improvements in immunosuppressant agents make small bowel transplantation a more feasible option for patients with irreversible, end-stage intestinal failure for whom all conventional treatments have failed. Successful bowel transplantation provides for lower morbidity and overall costs when compared to the impact of chronic, end-stage bowel disease.