Intestine and Multivisceral Transplant Program
Our innovative approach
Children’s Hospital Boston is the world’s largest research program at a pediatric institution, and we’re known for pioneering new treatments. A large part of our success comes from our commitment to research, which allows us to advance the field of transplantation through our innovative approach.
Our clinicians and investigators, who hold several prestigious honors, are responsible for many clinical and research firsts. Heung Bae Kim, MD, Surgical Director of the Pediatric Transplant Center, and Tom Jaksic, MD, PhD, Surgical Director of the Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation, developed the serial transverse enteroplasty, or STEP, procedure for short bowel syndrome (SBS).
The STEP procedure, which lengthens the bowel of children with SBS, may allow some children to wean completely from parenteral nutrition and avoid the need for intestinal transplantation. As of June 2009, Drs. Kim and Jaksic have performed 18 STEP procedures.
Children’s with short bowel or intestinal failure are typically unable to receive nutrition from food taken by mouth. For that reason, most are placed on parenteral nutrition (PN). With PN, the nutrients that the body needs to grow and develop bypass the normal digestive system and enter the patient directly through a thin tube inserted into a vein. But the prolonged use of PN often damages the liver, potentially leading to liver failure and the need for a transplant. Unfortunately, infants are at the greatest risk due to the small size of their livers. To minimize this risk, Children’s specialists have used a fish-oil derivative called Omegaven.