What does FMT stand for?
FMT stands for Faecal Microbiota Transplantation
What is FMT?
FMT involves the transfusion of healthy human donor faeces via colonoscope or enema into the bowel which is prepared prior to infusion. This infusion process can be a single infusion or it can be repeated over a period of time depending on the severity of the patient’s condition.
The use of healthy human flora appears to be the most complete probiotic treatment available today capable of eradicating ‘bad’ bacteria and spores and supplies ‘good’ bacteria for re-colonisation.
What does FMT help with?
FMT has been used to treat Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) infections and currently used by over 200 medical centres in the US and Canada. The Centre for Digestive Diseases is at the forefront of treating patients diagnosed with C. difficile with FMT with a global cure rate of over 95% with a single or double infusion versus a 20% cure with Vancomycin.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
FMT has been used to treat patients with UC unresponsive to standard therapy. The Centre for Digestive Diseases treated its first patient with UC in 1988 with FMT.
FMT may improve symptoms of IBS and potentially cure the cause of the problem. This however is not guaranteed. The treatment has demonstrated success in treating some of the most difficult cases of IBS. From current results around 80% of patients obtain good results with this treatment.
How does the transplant happen?
Stool from a healthy person or “Donor” is needed to be transplanted into the Recipient. A healthy person is defined as someone who has no history of bowel problems, has regular bowel movements, and has no current illnesses e.g. diabetes. Donors are thoroughly screened.
Once collected the stool is processed before being infused into the bowel. On the first day of treatment the stool is infused during colonoscopy and on subsequent days via rectal enema. You will be asked to massage your abdomen following the infusions to facilitate the enema to be distributed throughout your large bowel. This procedure is then repeated over consecutive days as ordered by your Doctor.
How do I know my donor is safe?
It is compulsory that both you and the Donor undergo screening approximately 4 weeks prior to the first FMT procedure. The screening procedure involves blood and stool tests for all known and detectable pathogens and diseases.
Your appointment will only be confirmed when the results for both yourself and your donor become available and have been cleared for pathogens and diseases as per the standard infection control protocol of the Probiotic Therapy Research Centre PTRC).
Can I use my own donor?
You can choose to use the Donor Bank at the CDD or select your own Donor. If you decide to use your own Donor it is your responsibility to organise a suitable candidate to be your Donor.
The potential candidate will have to answer a short questionnaire and if suitable may proceed to undergo stool, then blood investigations. If your Donor fails the safety screening, your infusion procedure will be postponed until a more suitable Donor can be found.
Once you have a suitable Donor and your appointment for the FMT has been confirmed you will be given a “Donor Kit” for the Donor to collect and prepare the faeces for your FMT each day.
How long do I need to do FMT?
Each person is different and responds differently. You could expect to do up to 10 consecutive FMT sessions.
When will I know if it works?
It can take many months for full benefits to be known, however some people notice differences shorter term
Will I have to do it again?
Those people whose symptoms do not respond , do not have a resolution of symptoms or relapse, may need top up FMT sessions. This will be discussed during consultations and follow up with medical staff. There is no one answer for everybody.
How do I get started?
Ask your GP to refer you to the Centre for Digestive Diseases for a consultation
How much will it cost?
FMT costs will be explained should you be deemed a good candidate and would expect good results.
FMT is not covered at this stage by Health Funds or Medicare.