The intestine is the lower part of the digestive tract. It extends from the stomach to the anus. The upper part, the small intestine, is narrow and intricate. It provides further digestion of food and absorbs nutrients from the digested food. The lower part, the large intestine, is wider and reabsorbs water from the digested foods and sends it back into the blood stream.
How do your intestines work?
About an intestine transplant operation
Preparing for the hospital
Preparing for the hospital In preparing for your intestinal transplant surgery, use the following checklist to prepare for your procedure:
- Select your primary support person. Choose someone you feel close to who has the time, health, and flexibility to be your caregiver. You need to know you are not a burden to this person. For caregivers, follow this link for more information on caring for patients.
- Prepare a phone/email tree. This will make it easier for your caregiver to update friends and family while cutting down on phone or email volume.
- Organize your personal affairs. Consider filling out an advanced directive, writing a will, and sharing access to bank accounts, e-mail, or blogs with a trusted loved one. You may also need to fill out Family Medical Leave Act, insurance, or loan deferment paperwork.
- Consider dependent care. Find someone you trust and set up a plan to take care of your children and/or pets. Ask your doctor when you can expect to see your children and pets after your transplant.
- Arrange transportation. You will want to plan how to get to the transplant center quickly when you get the call that an organ is available. Be sure to make these arrangements well in advance. If you are relocating, make sure you make housing arrangements in advance.
- Pack your bags. You’ll need to be ready to leave as soon as you get the call that an organ is available. Include insurance information, a list of medications, an extra 24-hour supply of medication, and other necessities.
Although it is possible for a living donor to donate an intestine segment, most intestine transplants involve a whole organ from a deceased donor. In addition, most intestine transplants are performed in conjunction with a liver transplant.
Postoperative care begins with a team of health professionals within the hospital. Careful, comprehensive post-surgical monitoring constantly evaluates whether the body is accepting the new organ. In addition, the amount of time you spend in the recovery room, waking up and getting to the point that you’re ready to go home, will vary from patient to patient. Because individual experience after recovery is so unique, it is important to discuss with your physician what to expect after surgery.