Fecal transplant at Medical City McKinney helps recovery from serious C.diff infections

Gastroenterologist Manmeet Padda, MD, FASGE, performed Medical City McKinney’s first fecal microbiota transplant on a patient with clostridium difficile (C.diff), a bacterium that can be life threatening. 

Fecal microbiota transplant is an outpatient procedure that introduces healthy bacterial flora into a patients’ colon through infusion of medically processed stool from a healthy donor. The procedure has proven effective treating serious cases of C.diff because it allows physicians to restore the good bacteria in the body and rebuild the immune system. Patients typically start to feel better within a week of a fecal transplant.

“More than two thousand species of bacteria lives inside the body, and sometimes that good bacteria is wiped out with a bad bacterium like C.diff, which can be life threatening,” said Dr. Padda. “C.diff bacteria is all around us, but is transferred hand-to-hand and can develop after the use of antibiotics.”

Patients with C.diff usually experience severe lower abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea. Oral antibiotics are used for mild cases and IV antibiotics for moderate cases. Fecal transplants are considered when prior treatment has failed.

 “A fecal microbiota transplant is done in the same manner as a colonoscopy, and takes about 10 minutes,” said Dr. Padda. “We flush the colon and add the new donated material, which has been prescreened for infections, cleaned by a donor bank, and kept frozen prior to transplant.”

Prior to fecal transplants, a patient with severe cases of C.diff often required prolonged hospitalization and multiple repeat antibiotic treatments.  

“The fecal microbiota transplant can allow certain patients to live a normal life, without life-changing and often excruciating pain,” said Dr. Padda.