The UK National Adult Intestinal Transplant Program provides isolated intestine (small bowel), combined liver and intestine, and multivisceral transplantation for patients who have irreversible intestinal failure.
The three types of intestinal transplantation offered by the program:
- Isolated intestine (small bowel) transplantation
Some people are born with or develop irreversible intestinal failure. They become unable to digest food well enough to eat or be fed through a tube, and as a result require permanent total parenteral nutrition (TPN). For these adults and children, isolated intestine (small bowel) transplantation can be a life-saving and life-enhancing option.
- Combined liver and intestine transplantation
Combined liver and intestine transplantation is a life-saving procedure for patients with combined organ failure. It is the only available treatment for patients with liver and intestinal failure.
- Multivisceral transplantation
Multivisceral transplantation is offered for people in whom two or more intra-abdominal organs (including the intestines) are failing. Multivisceral transplantation is the only treatment available for people who have combined organ failure and/or premalignant or low-grade malignant tumours of the gastrointestinal tract. It is sometimes better to transplant several organs together than to attempt very difficult and dangerous surgery to remove and replace organs that are difficult to remove safely on their own because of their position in the body. It is therefore often very helpful to have the option of multiple organ transplantation.