Intestinal Transplant

Short Bowel Transplant for Intestinal Failure

An intestinal transplant can be a life-saving option when disease or trauma prevents nutrients from moving through the intestines and being absorbed by the body. Duke is one of the few hospitals in the U.S. with experienced transplant surgeons who perform intestinal transplants. Our team will help you through every step of this journey, from managing your condition before the transplant, through recovery and follow-up. We are here for you.

Intestinal Failure Treatment Options

Duke has a long history of treating adults with GI conditions including Crohn’s Disease, short bowel syndrome, trauma, or a small bowel tumor, all of which can lead to intestinal failure. Intestinal failure treatments may include:

  • Intestinal rehabilitation, which can restore your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and may delay the need for transplant
  • Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), which delivers nutrition intravenously through a catheter

However, if your condition is life-threatening, an intestinal transplant may be a better alternative. 

When Intestinal Transplant Is Recommended

If an intestinal transplant -- also known as a small bowel transplant -- is recommended, you can feel confident choosing Duke for your care.

  • Our transplant surgeons have performed hundreds of these complex procedures. In addition to intestinal transplants, we also perform multi-organ transplants that include the small intestine, liver, pancreas, and kidney.
  • Our outcomes exceed the national average. According to the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients, 75 percent of our patients are alive with a functioning transplant one year after surgery, compared to a national average of 65 to 70 percent.

We successfully treat people who have been declined for an intestinal transplant at other hospitals.

Your Intestinal Transplant Team

The Duke intestinal transplant program is led by experts in hepatology (care of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, and pancreas) and transplant medicine, some of whom hold leadership positions in the Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Association and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

  • As nationally respected leaders in the transplant field, our doctors and surgeons test new techniques and therapies and help set national guidelines. They also develop educational materials that are used when intestinal transplants are performed internationally.
  • Our national involvement includes participation in clinical trials that test new therapies designed to improve nutrient absorption in people with intestinal failure, as well as ways to reduce transplant rejection. You or your child may be eligible to participate.
  • Our team also includes transplant coordinators who help you navigate the process. These advanced-care nurses and our social worker can answer questions you or your caregivers may have about the wait time before the small bowel transplant, the surgery, financial concerns, physical and emotional issues, dietary requirements, and more.
  • We are on-call for you 24/7/365. For urgent matters, an intestinal transplant coordinator is on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Additionally, an intestinal transplant doctor is on-call at all times for any needs that arise.


Becoming an Intestinal Transplant Candidate

The Intestinal Transplant Process

Ready for an appointment?
- call us at -