Intestinal or Multivisceral Transplant

If your child has intestinal failure, her body is unable to absorb the nutrients it needs from the food she eats. Many children with this condition receive nutrition intravenously, which allows it to bypass the digestive system and go right into her bloodstream. This is known as parenteral nutrition (PN).

Many children do quite well on PN, but sometimes complications arise that make it no longer an option. If your child can’t receive PN, or has a digestive condition that cannot be treated, an intestinal or multivisceral transplant may be an option.

  • One-year survival after an intestinal transplant can approach 80 to 90 percent for children treated in experienced centers.

  • Intestinal/multivisceral transplants are extremely rare; this is why data on long-term survival is still lacking.

  • Results will continue to improve as researchers at Children¹s and elsewhere discover new approaches to treating intestinal failure.

How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches an intestinal/multivisceral transplant

Whether your child needs an intestinal transplant, liver-intestinal transplant or multivisceral transplant, she is in good hands with us. Your child’s team includes:

  • pediatric transplant surgeons
  • transplant gastroenterologists/hepatologists
  • advanced practice nurses
  • transplant coordinators
  • anesthesiologists
  • transplant pharmacists
  • dietitians
  • transplant infectious disease specialists
  • transplant psychologists
  • transplant social workers
  • radiologists
  • experts from sub-specialties throughout Children’s, including Child Life specialists and resource specialists, to support your whole family

We also work closely with Children’s Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation (CAIR)  - one of the world's premier programs for the treatment of short bowel syndrome, a complex and often devastating disorder caused by the loss of part of the small bowel.

Intestinal/Multivisceral transplant: Reviewed by Rima Fawaz, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2010