The Intestinal Transplant Program at Cincinnati Children’s provides comprehensive, innovative care for patients with short bowel syndrome, congenital enteropathies and pseudo-obstructions. With a one-year post-transplant survival rate of 100 percent according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, our surgical outcomes are among the best in the United States.

Innovative Treatment Approach

Innovation is a hallmark of our program’s success. For example, our team:

  • Offers sophisticated surgical techniques to help patients with Hirschsprung’s disease, pseudo-obstruction and motility issues achieve bowel control following transplant
  • Proactively includes the colon in composite grafts
  • Employs state-of-the-art techniques for treating graft vs. host disease, and has achieved excellent results with graft salvage for patients recovering from severe exfoliative rejection
  • Follows stringent protocols for preventing and treating infectious diseases, and is one of only a few intestinal transplant programs with a full-time infectious disease specialist
  • Pioneered the widely used “Cincinnati low-dose chemotherapy regimen” for post-transplant patients with Epstein-Barr virus-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease
  • Was among the first to work intimately with home health care providers to ensure a safe environment following hospital discharge
  • Creates a “patient care passport,” an invaluable resource for families and physicians that details all significant clinical events related to the patient’s intestinal transplant care

Optimizing Surgical Outcomes

Transplant surgery is considered a last resort. Some patients are able to avoid it by participating in our Intestinal Rehabilitation Program, which offers extensive treatment options and training to help patients manage their long-term medical needs. Other patients have the option of undergoing autologous intestinal reconstructive surgery (e.g., bowel lengthening and tapering) in order to preserve bowel function and avoid transplant.

When a transplant is necessary, our team utilizes effective strategies to improve outcomes. Examples include:

  • Placing the patient on the transplant list as quickly as possible
  • Initiating pre-transplant therapies to address issues such as frequent blood stream infections or previously undiagnosed heart disease and renal insufficiency
  • After surgery, using rigorous protocols to identify early signs of rejection and organ failure
  • Working with families, referring physicians and home care providers to ensure that long-term follow-up care is in place
  • Providing extensive education and training so that parents can care for their child at home