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Fecal Transplant Information

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Updated June 10, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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How Is a Feces Transplant Performed?

How is Feces Transplanted?

The fecal sample is obtained from a donor within six hours of the transplant procedure. It is examined and tested for intestinal parasites and other signs of illness that might rule out the donor. If the sample is appropriate, it is prepared for transplantation, typically by mixing with sterile water, and filtering through a coffee filter repeatedly to remove the solids.

This sample is then infused into the recipient in one of two ways, by enema or through a feeding tube.

If the enema method is used, the stool sample is placed into the enema bag or bottle, then infused into the rectum where it is held as long as possible. This is done repeatedly over the course of no less than 5 to 10 days, directly introducing the normal flora back into the intestinal tract.

The other method uses a feeding tube to infuse the stool sample directly into the intestine. This tube is typically used for feeding patients who are unable to tolerate typical types of food or tube feeding. It it inserted into the nose and down into the stomach, and it then continues to advance until it stops in the intestine. The fecal sample prepared for transplant is then infused through the tube, allowing it to be placed directly into the intestine.

In some cases, both the enema and the feeding tube methods may be used to reintroduce normal flora into the digestive tract.

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