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Transplant surgeons perform multivisceral transplant to treat children with two failing abdominal organs such as liver failure and intestine failure. The procedure is a simultaneous transplant of multiple organs, including the liver, small intestine, pancreas and, often, the stomach and part of the large intestine.
Multivisceral transplant is used to treat:
Multivisceral transplant is a major operation and often a last resort for very sick children. Outcomes are positive and often better than intestine transplant. This is because all of the donated organs and blood supply come from the same donor, so the liver can protect the intestine from rejection.
A multivisceral transplant includes removing the damaged organs and replacing them with donor organs and their associated blood supply. The operation takes between eight to 12 hours to perform.
The specially trained transplant surgeons at IU Health Transplant at Riley Children’s Health carefully evaluate children to determine if a multivisceral transplant can improve their quality of life. Your child’s current health is a primary factor in the evaluation, which is similar to the process for intestine transplant and liver transplant.
Your child’s surgeon will order extensive medical testing such as:
Your child’s surgeon will also have you meet with a transplant social worker to ensure a strong family support system is available to help you provide the care and assistance your child will need at home after the transplant.
If the medical evaluation shows a multivisceral transplant is the best treatment option, your child will be placed on the national transplant waiting list. There is only one list managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Waiting for donated organs to become available can be stressful. To help during this waiting period, your family can use the time to learn as much as you can about the transplant procedure and the care your child will need when he or she returns home.
The transplant team at Riley at IU Health will work with you to get your family ready. The team includes pediatric specialists in transplant surgery, gastroenterology, hepatology, radiology, pathology, pharmacy, and social work. Your child's transplant team also will include a transplant nurse coordinator and a dietitian. You will meet regularly with the transplant nurse coordinator who will work with you to ensure the best care and recovery for your child before and after the transplant.
Your meetings with the transplant team will address any questions you may have such as:
Donated organs work best when they are transplanted as soon as possible. You can expect the transplant team to notify you to come to the hospital right away once donated organs that are a match for your child become available.
You can expect the following prior to your child’s multivisceral transplant:
You can expect the following on the day of your child’s multivisceral transplant:
You can expect the following immediately after surgery:
Below are some additional guidelines for when you return home:
Multivisceral transplant surgery is complex and recovery can have its ups and downs, but over time, your child will be able to return to school and regular activities.
The five-year survival rate for multivisceral transplant is 60 percent. At 10 years, the survival rate is 50 percent.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.