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Intestine Transplant


The intestine is the lower part of the digestive tract. It extends from the stomach to the anus. The upper part, the small intestine, is narrow and intricate. It provides further digestion of food and absorbs nutrients from the digested food. The lower part, the large intestine, is wider and reabsorbs water from the digested foods and sends it back into the blood stream.


Intestinal transplants remain the most challenging and least frequently performed vascularized intraabdominal organ transplants. However, over the last one and a half decades, intestinal transplant outcome has significantly improved and the yearly number of transplants has steadily increased. This phenomenon can be attributed to a variety of factors that include:

  • The refinement of surgical techniques,
  • The introduction of more powerful immunosuppressive agents and optimization of perioperative immunosuppressive protocols,
  • Better donor and recipient selection,
  • Increasing sophistication in perioperative prophylaxis of, and monitoring for, posttransplant infections and lymphoproliferative diseases (PTLD),
  • Availability of more potent, yet less toxic antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents,
  • Improvements in organ preservation, and
  • Advances in postoperative intensive care management of the high-risk intestinal transplant recipients

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