If diagnosed with intestinal failure, the first step is to contact The Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Center. Having a diagnosis of intestinal failure does not mean that you need an intestinal transplant. Only a small number of patients with intestinal failure progress to the point where transplant surgery is considered. You may be an excellent candidate for intestinal rehabilitation and adaptation.
The Cleveland Clinic has one of the most successful pediatric intestinal rehabilitation programs in the world. There are essentially two ways of optimizing the intestinal function in patients with intestinal failure: medical/dietary treatment and surgical treatment. Medical/dietary treatment includes diet adjustments and medications that are prescribed to improve digestive and absorptive function of the remaining bowel (growth factors, drugs that increase or decrease the intestinal motility, etc.). A small number of patients are found to have out-of-circuit bowel as a result of previous surgery that can be put back in continuity with the bowel that is exposed to food so that absorptive function can be improved. Furthermore, new surgical procedures (STEP, Bianchi and tapering procedures) are offered at our center to enhance the residual intestinal function. If existing medical and surgical treatments do not improve intestinal function, intestinal transplantation becomes a consideration.