Intestinal transplantations

Over 2,500 intestinal transplantations have been completed around the world, mostly on children. In Finland, the first intestinal transplantation was completed in 2009. Like other transplantation operations in Finland, intestinal transplantations are exclusively performed at HUCH.

The most common diseases requiring an intestinal transplantation include short-bowel syndrome, intestinal motility disturbances and rare intestinal mucosal diseases and tumours. Intestinal transplantation becomes an option when a patient suffering from intestinal failure develops serious complications associated with parenteral nutrition. However, only a small minority of patients with short-bowel syndrome receive an intestinal transplant.

Bowel lengthening should be considered for patients suffering from short-bowel syndrome, and therefore physicians should readily refer patients to the transplantation unit for assessments.

Waiting lists are particularly long for pediatric patients, because an ideal donor should weigh at least 20% less than the transplant patient.


Over the past few years, results have improved significantly: over 60% of the transplants remain functional five years after surgery.