The small bowel is also called the small intestine. It is a soft, coiled elastic tube between the stomach and the large bowel or colon. It is also part of your digestive system. The small intestine is composed of a:
Common reasons for transplant
If your small intestine fails, you would need to get nutrition. We usually give this through a drip into your veins.
When this is not possible, you may need a small bowel transplant. You will also need long term immunosuppression after a small bowel transplant.
The common causes of small bowel failure include:
Types of transplants
- Small bowel transplants - for people with bowel failure who do not have liver disease
Combined liver and small bowel transplant - for people with bowel failure who also have end-stage liver disease
- Multivisceral (multiple organs) transplant – not commonly used but recommended for people with multiple organ failure.
- absorbs minerals and nutrients from your food
- receives partly digested food from your stomach
- passes food to the lower bowel or large intestine
Small bowel transplant facts
- adult's small bowel is about six or seven metres long - longer than the large intestine
- about 90% of our food enters the blood through the small bowel
- our digestive system works to break-down food into small particles to be absorbed
- small bowel transplants are not common
- a small bowel transplant is complicated and takes around 8 to 10 hours
History of small bowel transplants
- The first human intestinal transplant was in 1967
- In 1988, German surgeons performed the first successful intestinal transplant
- More than 85% of people can survive for at least a year
- Eighty percent of people are able to switch from being drip-fed to an oral diet and resume normal activities