Frequently asked questions and answers about fecal transplantation
Healthy people have large amounts of good bacteria in their digestive system. These bacteria help to digest food. Some people have fewer good bacteria and more damaging bacteria, called Clostridium difficile, (C diff). Fecal transplantation is an innovative procedure to help people replenish their supply of good bacteria and aid digestion and elimination. Below are a few frequently asked questions and answers about fecal transplantation.
What is fecal transplantation?
Fecal transplantation involves using stool from a person with healthy gut bacteria and transplanting it into a person with low amounts of good bacteria. Medications like antibiotics can lessen good bacteria and allow bad bacteria like C diff to thrive. A fecal transplant allows good bacteria to replenish themselves and drive out the bad bacteria.
What happens during a fecal transplant procedure?
During a colonoscopy, healthy stool and saline are introduced into your gastrointestinal tract through your colon.
Is fecal transplantation a safe procedure?
There are no documented cases of infection, however, fecal transplantation is still a new procedure. The healthy stool donors undergo a rigorous screening process, similar to screenings for organ or tissue donations. They have serology tests to test for HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis. Their stool is also tested for salmonella, parasites and C diff.
Should I consider a fecal transplant?
Your doctor may recommend a fecal transplant if you have not responded to Vancomycin and have had at least 3 recurring episodes of C diff proliferation. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, colitis or Crohn’s disease you will most likely not be suitable for fecal transplantation.
How much does a fecal transplant cost?
Usually, there is no additional charge for the fecal transplant. You are charged for the colonoscopy procedure during which the stool is introduced. Most insurance companies cover the colonoscopy procedure and any laboratory testing involved.
For more information on fecal transplantation and whether you can benefit from the procedure, please call GI Associates at 877-442-7762, with offices in Wausau, Stevens Point, Woodruff, Eagle River, Rhinelander and Antigo, Wisconsin.