The Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation Program at Lurie Children’s is one of the few programs in the nation and the only program in Illinois dedicated to caring for children with an improperly functioning small bowel (small intestine). Intestinal failure occurs when this important part of the digestive system cannot absorb nutrients and fluids. A child with intestinal failure needs long-term nutritional support.
Patient & Graft Survival Rates
We are committed to avoiding intestinal transplant if possible. Since the program began in 2003, about 90% of our patients have avoided transplant through intestinal rehabilitation. Of those patients, 95% no longer need feeding through a vein (total parenteral nutrition, or TPN). This spares them the cost and possible complications of TPN.
When a child needs an intestinal transplant, our patient survival rate (100%) is well above the national average of 84% at one year.
The Lurie Children's Difference
Lurie Children’s provides family-centered care, with many support programs. We use a multidisciplinary team approach, which includes the patient and family. You and your child will meet with experts from different healthcare specialties who work together to make up our transplant team.
We also have a strong commitment to clinical research. Through research, we find and test new ways of helping children with intestinal failure become healthy.
Our Intestinal Transplantation team provides support and education through all steps of treatment.
Our team fully evaluates each child with intestinal failure to decide the most effective treatment plan. Your child’s first visit with our team may include:
Physical exam and health history
Psychosocial (mental and emotional health) assessment
Imaging and lab tests as needed
Financial needs assessment
The first goal in treatment is to improve intestine function. The Intestinal Rehabilitation Program offers medical, surgical and nutritional treatments to reduce or stop dependence on TPN. Surgical techniques, such as STEP (serial transverse enteroplasty), try to enhance the quality and function of the patient’s intestine by increasing length and volume of the bowel. The goal is to improve the child’s nutrition, growth and development.
If a transplant is the best option, we will move forward with an evaluation.