Fecal Transplantation (Bacteriotherapy)

Fecal transplantation (bacteriotherapy) is a treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection. Fecal transplantation puts another person's healthy stool in your colon.

Fecal transplantation (also known as stool transplant or fecal microbiota transplant/FMT) restores your intestinal bacteria to health with a transplant of healthy donor stool into your colon.

This procedure has a 90 percent or higher success rate for treating C. difficile infection.

Why it is Done

You might have fecal transplantation if you have recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection. In this case, the environment in your intestine has become unhealthy and resistant to treatment.

Fecal transplantation restores health to this environment by placing healthy donor stool in your intestine.

Your donor is carefully screened to make sure the stool you receive is healthy.

What to Expect

Fecal transplantation is usually performed with colonoscopy.

Preparation

You must clean out your colon before a colonoscopy. Usually, this involves:

  • Not eating solid food the day before and drinking only clear liquids
  • Not eating or drinking after midnight the night before
  • Taking a laxative (liquid or pill) the night before and possibly the morning of the exam
  • Giving yourself an enema the night before or possibly the morning of the exam
  • Following your doctor's instructions about which medications you can and cannot take before the exam

Procedure

  • You wear a hospital gown and lie on your side on an exam table.
  • You have an intravenous (IV) sedative to make sure you're comfortable during the procedure.
  • Your doctor inserts a tube (colonoscope) into your rectum and into your colon.
  • As the tube is withdrawn, the donor stool is inserted through the tube into your colon.
  • You recover from the sedation medication before you go home.
  • Someone must accompany you to the exam to drive you home. You can't drive after you've had sedation medication.
  • You should rest for the remainder of the day.

Our gastroenterology specialists are experienced in comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of colorectal problems, including performing fecal transplantation.

What the Risks Are

Feces is a bodily fluid. In fecal transplant, feces is being taken from one person and transplanted in another. It's important that donors are carefully screened for problems and their feces to prevent another disease or infection from being introduced to the feces recipient.

Find an Aurora Health Care GI Specialist