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This is a fairly frequent question. Doubtful that colon transplant will occur, although there are some intestinal transplants that include the colon. That said, the reason it is unlikely is that to be a candidate for intestinal transplant, it has to be life preserving. This means that you cannot tolerate TPN anymore, and your intestines are so dysfunctional that you will die otherwise. The fact is that we can live pretty well without a colon, so it is not likely to be a priority. I suppose that if they figure out how to grow a colon from scratch that would actually work, that might be a possibility.

I presume the donor is generally a recent accident victim, not a living donor, although it appears they do use living donors sometimes for small infants.

Jan Smiler
They do colon transplants, but almost always as part of a multi-organ transplant; that is to say, it's very doubtful you'd see one by itself.

The truth of the matter is, you can live without a colon, even with all the drawbacks. You can't live without a small bowel, or a heart, or at least 1 kidney, etc. The bottom line is, a colon transplant is not medically necessary, therefore it's not a high priority to develop such a surgery.

Even if colon transplants were available, there are dozens of drawbacks. For example, you'd be on an organ transplant waiting list for have to be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of your life. And, there is a high probability that the UC would recur in the donor colon.

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