'In the 1960s people were dying from starvation after major surgery or trauma which meant they had lost a large part of their intestine. At that time PN was not available to help, so surgeons tried intestinal transplantation, and hoped the new bowel would work. Unfortunately all of the patients died due to technical complications, infection, or their bodies rejecting the transplanted bowel.
The first successful bowel transplants occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s when there was better treatment for infection, and better understanding of the immune system leading to development of medication to prevent rejection of the transplant. Since then there have been further innovations with better technical skills and improved medication such that there is a good hope of a successful outcome for patients. By the end of 2011, over 2600 intestinal transplants have been performed in 79 worldwide centres.
Currently there are 35 active centres in the world performing around 180 intestinal transplants per year. In the UK there are 4 centres – 2 for adults and 2 for children. These centres perform up to 20 transplants per year in total.'
Dr J Hind, Consultant Paediatric Hepatology and Intestinal Transplantation, King's College Hospital
Thank you so much to Oliver and his parents for allowing us to share his story.
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January 2014 Newsletter
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