Patients with small bowel disease may need to consider a small bowel transplant or intestinal surgery.

In a small bowel transplant, the diseased portion of the small intestine is removed and replaced with a healthy small intestine from a donor. This procedure can be lifesaving for patients with irreversible intestinal failure that has become life-threatening.

Learn more about small bowel disease.

The Center for Intestinal Care and Transplant at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute

The Center for Intestinal Care and Transplant at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, the only program in the Nation's capital and one of only a few Medicare-approved centers nationwide, offers new and successful surgical and medical options for adults and children suffering from disabling and life-threatening intestinal disorders and liver disease.

Our small bowel transplant team manages about 100 small bowel transplants a year. 60-70 of those are for children 18 and younger.

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute: Opening of the New Clinical Space


Evaluation is a necessary stage of the transplant process as it is used to determine a patient’s eligibility for the procedure. MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute’s intestinal transplant team conducts a thorough evaluation that covers the span of three to five days. During the assessment the team reviews the patient's medical history, conducts a physical assessment, and performs series of tests.

Learn more about the transplant evaluation process.

Transplant Process

During a small bowel transplant, the small intestine is surgically removed and replaced with a healthy organ. The blood vessels of the patient and donor intestine are connected to establish a blood supply to the transplanted intestine. The donor intestine is then linked with the patient's gastrointestinal tract.


An ileostomy is performed to allow body waste to pass directly out of the body and empty into a pouch. It surgically creates an opening through which the ileum, a section of the small intestine, is brought up through the abdominal wall. Most patients are able to have the ileostomy closed, in time.


Most small bowel recipients spend several weeks in the hospital. Physicians closely monitor small bowel recipients for signs of organ rejection, infection, or other complications.

Learn more about transplant recovery.