Just a crazy idea

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 2/3/2009 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
If the transplantation of major organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, etc. is now routine, why is it not possible to transplant a colon?
Mild pancolitis with some diverticular pockets diagnosed in April '08
Currently on 400 mg Asacol X 6 per day

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 2/3/2009 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   

I am no expert, but I suppose that attaching a new colon is difficult, because it needs to be stitched to the small intestine and also has to do with the sloppy texture of the colon?

Good question though.

Scarlett, 38 yo., TX
Pancolitis since 3/1997
6 x Asacol a day
75 50 mg 6-MP
Align (probiotic)
Flintstones Complete Vitamins

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 2/3/2009 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Colon transplantation will never be a good idea for two reasons. Transplant patients need to stay on immunosuppressants and prednisone after their surgery and for life, usually. The whole reason to have the colon removed in the UC patient is to eliminate the need to take these drugs. The second and more important reason is that one does not need to have a colon to live a full productive life. You can't live without a heart or a set of lungs which makes transplant for those organs necessary. But you can live without a colon. In fact, in my opinion, my life is better since I had the offending organ removed!

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 2/3/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Plus there is one other thing that, for now, would make colon transplantation, or even some sort of genetically grown colon like out of a sci fi movie, impractical: IBD seems to be inherent not so much to our digestive organs as such (though that is where it attacks us mostly) but to our immune system as a whole. Replace our diseased colons with a perfectly healthy one and our immune system will simply renew the attack. Some of us may have badly damaged colons but for the most part, if the immune system attack could simply cease, from my understanding regeneration and replacement of healthy tissue could occur in just days.
Pancolitis ~20 years, once had a full med-free 10 year remission,
but flaring/simmering on and off for years, allergic to all 5ASAs
12.5ish mg pred, 100 mg Imuran TCM (acupuncture & herbs)
Probiotics (PD, Cust.Probiot., Culturelle, VSL3, etc), DMSO, TSO, hookworm
Turmeric/circuminboswellia, fish oil, many vits/minerals
Lower-carb version of Specific Carb Diet (SCD), Remicade

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/3/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Another thing to consider-- and this is why my idea of having my colon sectioned (to removed the UC part) is always denied-- you suffer from UC for a reason and the removal and replacing of the colon does not remove the cause of UC. You could get a new colon, UC free, and have it suffer from UC in the future. In my case of having a resection, once the bad part of the colon is removed, my body would focus its attention on another part and so on.


Began Humira on 10 Jan 2009

Second injection: two pens on 24 Jan 2009

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 2/3/2009 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, thanks for the insights. I obviously have never thought about it.

Scarlett, 38 yo., TX
Pancolitis since 3/1997
6 x Asacol a day
75 50 mg 6-MP
Align (probiotic)
Flintstones Complete Vitamins

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/3/2009 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
The movement of white blood cells into the intestine is one of the pivotal events leading to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). White blood cells are normally thought to assist in preventing disease. However, in many types of inflammation, these cells can emit proteins that exacerbate disease. Thus, the means by which white blood cells enter the intestine and associated tissues is a very active area of research, in hopes of targeting these mechanisms clinically. They have done intestinal transplants with no success because of the process of IBD, the new transplanted intestines do become diseased again, so not only is it a costly and difficult procedure, it doesn't work because the nature of the beast, IBD is basically too many white blood cells gathering and attacking the intestines specifically. You have to treat the root of the disease (the defective genes/immune system) to get to the real issue of the disease itself, that's why with crohn's, continuously cutting away the diseased areas only make the healthy areas vulnerable to getting attacked.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 459
   Posted 2/3/2009 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
A woman in South Africa who had ulcerative colitis for more than 20 years claimed that her all her colitis symptoms were gone after she had a liver transplant
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