Intestinal Rehabilitation at UPMC
For people diagnosed with gastrointestinal dysfunction or failure, the UPMC Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation Center (IRTC) in Pittsburgh, Pa., offers:
- Consultation services
- Medical and surgical management
- Long-term follow up for adult patients
Intestinal Conditions We Treat
Intestinal rehabilitation might be an option if you have:
- Gastrointestinal dysfunction
- Intestinal disease, such as Crohn’s
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Diminished nutritional status
- Malabsorption syndrome
- Short bowel syndrome
- Intestinal failure
About Short Bowel Syndrome and Intestinal Failure
People diagnosed with short bowel syndrome (SBS) have intestinal failure resulting from an inadequate length of intestine following intestinal resection.
Common symptoms of SBS include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Electrolyte abnormalities
- Weight loss and malnutrition
Intestinal failure refers to people who may become malnourished post-surgery due to inadequate digestion and/or absorption of nutrients.
Our multidisciplinary team offers several therapies for intestinal disorders, including:
- Parenteral nutrition
- Bowel rehabilitation
- Surgical procedures to reconstruct the bowel
About Parenteral Nutrition
Parenteral nutrition can help manage SBS by maintaining nutritional status and preventing complications related to clinical function and nutritional therapy.
Because people with SBS are often encouraged to eat a higher caloric diet more frequently throughout the day to compensate malabsorption, dietary management by modifying oral intake may lead to a favorable response.
Enhancing Quality of Life
Early intervention is key for people with SBS. Intestinal rehabilitation is designed to improve the intestinal adaption process in order to reduce the need for parenteral nutrition or fluids.
Our team of experts at the IRTC provides personalized education and treatment regimens for people with SBS and intestinal failure. They have enhanced and developed surgical procedures to:
- Preserve the existing intestine
- Improve or restore functional motility of the intestine
Determining which patient can be successfully rehabilitated is often difficult. Favorable outcomes have been found in patients to include:
- Young age
- Healthy residual bowel
- Restored continuity of gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Preservation of a portion of the ileum, colon, and ileocecal valve
Our goal at the IRTC is to make every attempt to rehabilitate the bowel and restore the nutritional well-being and quality of life of people with gastrointestinal dysfunction or failure.
If rehabilitation alone isn't successful, intestinal transplantation may be a life-changing — or even lifesaving — consideration.