Transplantation of the small intestine may be done when people cannot get enough nutrients because
After 3 years, more than 50% of small intestine transplants are still functioning, and about 65% of people who have had an intestinal transplant are still alive.
Intestinal transplants are particularly prone to both infection and rejection. Once a week, After transplantation, doctors use a viewing tube (endoscope) to check the intestine for signs of rejection. This test is done frequently, sometimes once a week, at first. Then the test is done every few weeks, then every few months.
Because the small intestine contains a large amount of lymphatic tissue, the new intestinal tissue may produce cells that attack the recipient's cells, causing graft-versus-host disease.
Last full review/revision June 2013 by Martin Hertl, MD, PhD; Paul S. Russell, MD