What Is A Fecal Transplant?
A fecal transplant, also known as fecal bacteriotherapy, is a transplant of stool from one person to another. This process allows good bacteria to be restored in the colon. This bacteria is important because it helps us digest food and absorb needed nutrients. Sometimes after a long regiment of antibiotics, a patient can lose this good bacteria.
Why Is Feces Transplanted?
Our feces carry a necessary type of bacteria called normal flora that helps with digestion, prevents allergic reactions and boosts the immune system. The normal flora works within the digestive system to keep bad bacteria at bay. When the normal flora is destroyed during intense antibiotic treatments that balance is destroyed and your gastrointestinal tract will not function properly. In most cases, your body is able to restore the normal flora on its own but for others, it doesn’t regenerate fast enough to maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
How Is A Fecal Transplant Performed?
In order to restore the good bacteria in an affected patient’s gastrointestinal tract a healthy donor’s stool is necessary. The sample is taken from a healthy donor within six hours of the transplant. The stool is then tested for parasites and infection. After that, the stool is mixed with water and prepped to be transplanted.
The watery stool can be transplanted through an enema, feeding tube, or with a colonoscopy. The fecal solution can be spread through the entire large intestine with the colonoscope. Your health care provider will most likely suggest a preparation process similar to the following:
- Disclose any allergies
- Stop any antibiotic treatment two days before the procedure
- Follow a liquid diet with an enema or laxative preparation for 24 hours preceding the fecal transplant
- Any additional medication you will need to take