Am I eligible for an intestinal transplant?

If you are considering an intestinal transplant at Nebraska Medicine, the following information can be used to help determine whether or not you might be eligible for the procedure. Keep in mind that these lists are just a starting point. Please schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to help determine your eligibility for intestine transplantation.

In order to qualify for an intestinal transplantation, a patient will typically meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Dependence on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)
  • Liver dysfunction or failure secondary to TPN
  • Limited veins for TPN (clots in two of six major veins used for TPN)
  • Life-threatening central line infections (Intravenous lines used for TPN)
  • Multiple central line infections
  • Repeated episodes of dehydration
  • Multiple episodes of dehydration

Patients may also be considered for intestinal transplantation if they have a small intestine that has been severely damaged, cannot be reconstructed and intestinal rehabilitation is not an option.

In addition to meeting the above conditions, a patient must:

  • Qualify for and be able to tolerate major surgery.
  • Understand the risks and benefits of transplantation, including the long-term need for close medical follow-up and life-long need for anti-rejection medications.
  • Accept the responsibility to be involved in the long-term care required after transplantation, including the financial responsibilities.

A patient may not be eligible for intestinal transplantation due to:

  • The presence of an other life-threatening disease or condition that would not improve with transplantation. This would include certain cancers, infections that cannot be treated or cured, or significant brain injury/damage that is not considered irreversible.
  • History of chronic non-compliance, including but not limited to, medical treatments, medications, or other behaviors that would affect patients' ability to fully care for themselves after transplantation.
  • History of chronic and ongoing drug and/or alcohol abuse that cannot be successfully treated before transplantation, putting the patient at risk for continued harmful behavior after transplantation.
  • History of serious psychiatric disorders that cannot be successfully treated before transplantation, and that would be considered a high risk for ongoing or increased severity of the psychiatric disorder after transplantation.