Fecal transplants can help replenish the bacterial balance which may have been previously disturbed by antibiotic use or surgical intervention that changes the normal bacterial environment of the intestine. Such a change in the intestinal environment is considered to be a strong contributor to the recurrence of a Clostridium difficile infection. The treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection however is not limited to FMT and may also include a variety of antibiotic choices. As such a discussion with a physician would be needed to select the appropriate choice of therapy.
The AHN Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition provide expert care and guidance in the management of recurring C. diff infections and offers fecal microbial transplants when indicated.
Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a serious infection commonly associated with antibiotics and hospital visits. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, and weight loss. If severe, the infection can require you to stay in a hospital while you receive treatment. C. diff is primarily treated with antibiotics, however recurrence is common. Patients who experience a recurring C. diff infection may be candidates for fecal microbial transplant.
An initial office visit is scheduled with our gastroenterologist in order to evaluate the appropriateness for the patient to receive a fecal microbial transplant. About 50% of patients that come in for the initial visit are rated appropriate candidates for the procedure.
Typically, fecal microbial transplantation is done through a colonoscopy procedure by our gastroenterology team. During a colonoscopy, a thin hollow tube with a camera attached on the end is placed into the colon and a syringe injects the donor stool through the hollow tube into the colon. The purpose of the procedure is to repopulate the recipients’ colon with healthy bacteria from a healthy donor, both reducing the amount of clostridium difficile bacteria and restoring the bacteria balance of the colon.
In most cases our physicians use the national OpenBiome stool bank as the donor for the procedure. OpenBiome is the only FDA approved stool bank.