The Gastroenterology Group of Northern New Jersey

Fecal Microbiota Transplant

Here at The Gastroenterology Group of Northern New Jersey, we provide care in all aspects of gastrointestinal diseases in a safe and compassionate environment. Gastrointestinal issues can be extremely personal, but we do our best to make you feel as comfortable as possible while you get the care that you need. There are plenty of things that can upset your digestive system, and luckily our dedicated staff can help you overcome issues in order to resolve any issues and help you to become regular again. One such procedure we provide here is a fecal microbiota transplant. This procedure is often used to replace, or transplant, good bacteria that may have been lost, killed or suppressed by the use of antibiotics. In some cases, bad bacteria may have manifest and over-populated the colon, which can sometimes lead to debilitating or even fatal diarrhea.

A fecal microbiota transplant or FMT is a procedure wherein fecal matter is collected from a tested donor in order to help repopulate your colon with good bacteria. Once the collected, the transplanted matter or FMT is then mixed with saline or another similar solution, strained, and then placed within the patient via a colonoscopy, endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or an enema. We here at The Gastroenterology Group of Northern New Jersey will be sure to walk you through every step of the procedure from diagnosis to treatment, and even follow-up.

What is Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)?

Your gastrointestinal tract has a lot of beneficial and necessary bacteria that help in maintaining normal gastrointestinal health. Certain infections such as Clostridium dificile (also known as C. diff) can cause moderate to severe diarrhea with associated abdominal cramping and fever because of overgrowth of this bad bacteria in your colon. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) is performed by taking stool from a healthy person and instilling it into a person suffering from C. diff. This is frequently performed when standard therapies for C. diff have failed.

How does fecal transplant work?

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial illnesses. The gastrointestinal tract is filled with many strains of good bacteria that maintain your gut health. Sometimes in the process of using antibiotics to treat bacterial illnesses, the good bacteria in your gut can also be affected allowing disease-causing bacteria like C. diff to flourish. Fecal microbiotia transplantation (FMT) provides a rapid way to repopulate the GI tract with good bacteria and cure a C. diff infection.

How is FMT performed?

FMT is performed similar to a standard colonoscopy. During the procedure a solution of donor stool and saline is introduced into the colon through a channel in the colonoscope to eliminate the C. diff infection.

Who is eligible to donate stool?

A good donor is generally somebody in good health who has not been exposed to any antibiotics or gastrointestinal infections for the last 90 days. Frequently it is an immediate family member although it is not necessary for the donor to be related. Donors undergo screening tests involving blood and stool samples to ensure that no transmissible diseases are present.