Pediatric Intestinal Transplants

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Appointments: 1.800.543.7362

The Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation Program at Lurie Children’s is one of the few multi-disciplinary programs caring for children with intestinal failure in the country. Intestinal failure occurs when this essential part of the digestive system cannot absorb nutrients and fluids. A child with intestinal failure needs long-term nutritional support. Lurie Children’s has performed 23 intestinal transplants since the program started in August 2004. Medical and surgical advancements in the field of intestinal rehabilitation have led to decreasing numbers of intestinal transplants performed throughout the country.

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 86% 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 Specialists

Our Intestinal Transplantation team provides support and education through all steps of treatment.

What to Expect

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. 


For more information, please call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®). 

Traveling from out-of-state? Our Destination Services team is available to help make your experience at Lurie Children's go as smoothly as possible. Learn more.

Transplant Remote Consultations & Second Opinions

Whether you anticipate your child needing an organ transplant in the future, interested in multiple listing for organ transplant, or would like a second opinion on post-transplant care, the transplant remote consultation and second opinion program can help. 

Our transplant providers are available for an initial consultation to review your care, explain our transplant process, and provide second opinions of post transplant care treatment plans before deciding if traveling to Lurie Children’s would be the right choice for you.

Learn More

Contact Our Team

To accommodate the demands of the Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Program’s (IRP) growth, we have established a dedicated IRP phone line for all clinical needs. This will allow for prompt access to a clinical team member. Please call 312.227.0560 to speak directly with a nurse. As always, for emergent clinical needs after hours, please page our GI Fellow on call at 312.227.4000.

For easy, electronic communication with your child’s care team, we strongly encourage all families to sign up for MyChart. MyChart gives you direct online access to portions of your child’s electronic medical record, where your child’s health information is stored. To sign up for MyChart, please go to or call our Program Coordinator at 312.227.4576.


We are strongly committed to clinical research. Dr. Cohran is the site principal investigator for the clinical trial using teduglutide to enhance adaptation in pediatric patients with short bowel syndrome. Dr. Cohran is also collaborating with other intestinal failure centers examining long-term outcomes of patients with short bowel syndrome. We participate in the International Intestinal Transplant Registry and hope to be part of a larger intestinal failure registry in the near future.

Tests & Treatments