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"Is a stomach and small bowel transplant possible in this case?"

ZocdocAnswersIs a stomach and small bowel transplant possible in this case?


My son was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 2 years ago. By the time he was officially diagnosed damage to his gut had already been done with diabetic enterneuropathy. Of course he has neuropathy in his hands and feet as well. He suffers from re occuring gastroparesis, which is exacerbated by the anti diarheal's that he has to take for the paresis of his small bowel. Since his diagnosis 2 yrs. ago, with good diet, exercise and metformin. His A1 C's have been in normal range. He has re gained 30 # since his diagnosis which is a good thing. He is 5'9 in tall and wt. 109# when diagnosed. The enteneuropathy nearly killed him. Each episode of gastroparesis takes more wt. off of him and is currently back down to 130. He is a very active person, wants to enjoy life. Does not do well when he cannot work or sing. Has there ever been a stomach, small bowel transplant performed for these people that suffer from this horrible disease? He is currently 29 yrs. old. Thank you


I am sorry that your son has suffered so much from his type 2 diabetes. His condition certainly sounds complicated and should be managed by specialists. The first and most important therapy for diabetic gastroparesis is to manage blood sugar levels, which it appears he has done well with. The second treatment we use for gastroparesis is medications that can accelerate stomach emptying. These include the antibiotic erythromycin and sometimes the anti-nausea medicine metoclopromide. The third treatment that can be tried in these patients is something called a gastric pacemaker. This is a device that tries to replace the natural enteric nervous system by opening the outlet to the stomach at the correct time to release food into the small intestine. A small bowel and stomach transplant is an extremely invasive procedure that is reserved for patients who's digestive system is so inadequate that they require intravenous nutrition to live. I have never heard of a case of diabetic gastroparesis that was treated with transplant. I imagine that the side effects of the procedure would be unacceptable unless his condition made nutrition by mouth impossible. I suggest that you have your son see a gastroenterologist for his gastroparesis. He or she can review what advanced therapies would be helpful for your son's condition. Good luck.

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