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Intestine Transplants

In children, the small intestine is often transplanted in combination with the liver, stomach and pancreas – a multi-organ transplant.

About the Intestine

The intestines – both the small and large – run 25 feet long throughout our bodies, digesting food and helping the body to absorb necessary nutrients while also getting rid of waste products. The small intestine handles much of the nutrient absorption, while the large intestine reabsorbs water from digested foods and sends it back into the blood stream.

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Small intestine issues most often require transplants, as the large intestine is not necessary to sustain life. The small intestine can become damaged and not function properly because of short bowel syndrome caused by conditions like tumors, Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases, or congenital heart defects.

Transplant

In children, the small intestine is often transplanted in combination with the liver, stomach and pancreas – a multi-organ transplant.

  • There are currently 274 people waiting for an intestine transplant in the U.S.

Hear from a multi-organ transplant recipient.
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The Interactive Body

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Explore the Interactive Body to learn about organs and tissues needed for others awaiting transplants.

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