We've all heard of heart, and kidney transplants, all sorts of organ and tissue donations, even face transplants. Now, there is another kind of transplant in Lubbock, which people are less likely to talk about, because it sounds disgusting.
It's a stool transplant.
Dr. Timothy Miller, a gastroenterologist, says the transplant is a last ditch effort for patients struggling with C-Diff, a dangerous infection characterized by repeated diarrhea. Here's how the stool transplant works.
"So the idea behind it is getting that good healthy bacteria back into the patient's intestines, so we have a donor specimen. You mix the stool, in a blender, literally in a blender, at the microbiology lab at covenant, with saline, makes it basically a filter, and liquid-y, then you do a colonoscopy on the patient, they're asleep for that, they don't feel a thing, and basically you infuse the stool, "slurrie" is what we call it, into the patient's intestine, and colon via the colonoscopy, and then they have the stool inside of them and it passes normally."
Dr. Miller also says the donor is normally a family member who has been tested to make sure they are free of infection.
Dr. Miller was the first to bring the stool transplant to Lubbock. Already, he has done the procedure on 5 patients who were seriously ill, and all 5 are now cured of their infection, all because of the stool transplant.