Intestinal Transplant

If your child has been referred for an intestinal transplant, he or she will complete an evaluation process with our transplant team to be sure that intestinal transplant is an appropriate treatment. During the evaluation, your child's medical history will be recorded and he or she will complete a thorough medical examination. You and your child will also have consultations with our doctors, nurses, dietitians, child life specialist and social worker.

As part of the evaluation your child will have a variety of tests, which may include, but are not limited to:

During the evaluation period, our team will provide you and your child with detailed information about intestinal transplant and what to expect after surgery. You'll have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the procedure.

Waiting For a Transplant

After your child completes the evaluation process and tests, the results will be carefully reviewed and discussed by the intestinal transplant team and transplant selection committee to determine whether your child is a good candidate for intestinal transplant.

If your child is found to be a good candidate, he or she will be placed on the intestinal transplant waiting list, which is maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). UNOS is responsible for deciding how organs are allocated to people in the United States. Priority is determined by wait time, except in some special cases when transplant may be an emergency. Wait time for all organ transplants depends on the availability of organs and the number of people on the waiting list. Intestinal transplant recipients may wait for six months or more to receive a transplant once they're placed on the waiting list.

When an organ becomes available, your child will be asked to come to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital to be evaluated by a doctor on the transplant team and undergo a few more tests to be sure that your child's medical condition hasn't changed. It's important to remember that occasionally a transplant recipient may be called into the hospital for a "false alarm," when the organ offered to them is determined to be unsuitable. In such cases, patients are sent home, but they retain their position on the waiting list and will be offered the next available suitable organ.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.