What is a Fecal Transplant?
A fecal transplant is a process that involves collecting poop from a tested donor. Then mixing it with saline and other solutions and placing it inside a patient through an enema, sigmoidoscopy, endoscopy, or colonoscopy. It is also sometimes referred to as a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT). This procedure is done so that the healthy poop bacteria replaces the missing bacteria eliminated from the person due to antibiotics. A lack of good bacteria can lead to more bad bacteria and a condition known as Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. The infection is serious, and has also resulted in chronic and fatal diarrhea.
However, a fecal transplant is still a very unconventional treatment method for some people. Thinking about transplanting poop from one person’s body and into the other person is weird. Although, it has proven to be an effective treatment for people who are living with unhealthy gut bacteria, resulting in a host of other digestive conditions.
How fecal transplants work?
The fecal transplant isn’t a complicated procedure. It is designed to provide the recipient with a healthy dose of good bacteria that will allow their digestive system to start regenerating it on its own. It will strengthen the digestive system of the person and help protect it against future infections. People who consume a lot of antibiotics are the ideal candidates for fecal transplant. Antibiotics kill all the good bacteria in the gut. The reason we are even talking about fecal transplants is because they are highly effective in treating a host of digestive conditions.
Preparing for the procedure
Despite the tremendous success rate of fecal transplants, a lot of people are not comfortable with the idea of putting another person’s poop into their body. Therefore, not many people have a good idea of what to expect when they are preparing for the procedure. Most insurance companies don’t cover the expenses of the procedure, and therefore people prefer alternative treatments.
If you have decided to get a fecal transplant, you should relax and visit the doctor before the transplant takes place. It will be done through a colonoscopy, since it is the easier method. If you have had it done before you will not be worried about anything. For best results, the donor from whom the fecal matter will be taken should be very healthy. They cannot have suffered from any chronic infections like hepatitis.
The donors will sign a consent form and be tested for communicable diseases which can be inadvertently transferred to another patient.
How the procedure is done
Before your fecal transplant takes place, you will be prepared for a colonoscopy by your doctor. At the same time, the donor will be given a laxative to ensure that they have timely bowel movement. Then the donor will have their poop mixed with a saline solution to homogenize the poop. They will then filter the poop through a filter, which will result in a brown liquid with bacteria remaining.
That mixture of poop will then be injected into the patient. They will be heavily sedated and wait for when they get a bowel movement. The longer the poop stays inside the patient after the fecal transplant, the better the chances of healthy bacteria growing once again.