Because children with intestinal failure cannot absorb nutrients from the food they eat, they must get nutrition another way.
Intestinal Failure Treatment Options
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN)
TPN is a mixture containing nutrients that your child gets through a tube (catheter) inserted in a central vein (IV). Sometimes TPN is a long-term or even permanent solution for intestinal failure. But the chances of problems due to the need for TPN tend to increase over time.
Some children can be weaned off TPN with a newer treatment option called intestinal rehabilitation (IR). With intestinal rehabilitation, health care providers help restore your child's working intestine through diet, medicine and surgeries that do not include transplant. To learn more, please see information on our Intestinal Care Program.
If you and your child's medical team decide a transplant is the best treatment for your child, our team will support you and your family throughout the process. For information on intestine transplants at Seattle Children's, please see What to Expect if Your Child Needs an Intestine Transplant.