Fecal Microbiatia Transplant (FMT)
Yes, this is what it sounds like. Fecal transplants have been used for centuries as a method of boosting the immune systems of babies and adults, even animals. It is thought to be especially helpful for newborns to introduce the mother’s healthy ‘good’ bacteria into the baby so that the newborn will have an advantage in fighting off the bad bacteria that surrounds them outside the womb.
Today’s FMT is a little different, but not much. FMT has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for the newer strains of antibiotic-resistant infections, including and especially recurrent Clostridium difficile (C diff). It was approved by the FDA for this purpose and is now available from Dr. Saad Haque and performed at the Calvert Endoscopy Center.
Basically, FMT implants good bacteria into the digestive tract so that the body can more naturally restore bacterial balance and fight off C Diff. The fecal matter used is sourced from a tested, healthy donor, mixed with a saline solution and implanted into the patient during an upper endoscopy or a colonoscopy. At CMH, we use appropriately prepared frozen samples from qualified donors, sourced from FDA approved pharmacies. We don’t need a sample from your Uncle Fred or Aunt Millie.
C diff is a complication of antibiotic therapy and can result in extreme and chronic bouts of abdominal cramping, diarrhea, even fever. Your gut has both good and bad bacteria, and a balance is key to maintaining good health. Antibiotics are known to kill off all bacteria, good and bad, with the end result being that the bad bacteria often take over because there are no good bacteria to keep the bad in check.
The incidence of C diff has been on the rise across the country and around the world since 2000, despite all best efforts to minimize the overuse of antibiotics and strenuous sterilization protocols in all health institutions. For patients with recurrent C diff, the chronic cramping and diarrhea can be debilitating and even life threatening.
FMT is now considered a standard of care for recurrent C diff, and we are proud that Dr. Haque and the Calvert Endoscopy Center are able to offer this life saving treatment to our patients.
Preparing for Your Procedure
The preparation for FMT depends on whether the procedure is performed usng an EDG/upper endoscopy or a colonoscopy. Both prodecures require a clear field of vision for the doctor. Dr. Haque will review the preparation for your procedure before you appointment, but your preparation will include some level of fasting and possibly laxatives as well as modifications to your medication schedule prior to the procedure.
You will be sedated for the procedure, so you will need to be sure that you have someone to bring you to and take you home after the procedure. You will not be allowed to drive yourself.
After the procedure, you will be in recovery for a short time while the sedation wears off. Dr. Haque will review any immediate results with you while you are in recovery, and you will be allowed to go home. You may be groggy for the rest of the day, and can eat a small meal when you get home. You will be able to resume normal activities the next day.