Small bowel surgery is big deal

by Andrew Tellijohn

The recipient of Fairview-University Hospital’s first small bowel and liver transplant heads home today. Three-year-old Courtney Macht will be released from Fairview-University Medical Center just over a month after the procedure was performed by Dr. Rainer Gruessner, professor of surgery.
Macht, a native of Boyd, Minnesota, was born with severe short bowel syndrome, and according to a press release, was fed intravenously. However, the feeding gradually caused liver failure, which required frequent stays in the Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., approximately 30 miles from her home.
Since Macht’s transplant Dec. 18, Gruessner performed a second bowel/liver transplant Jan. 16 on a 12-year-old girl from Minneapolis who is currently in stable condition at the hospital. Fewer than 50 such procedures have been performed worldwide.
— Andrew Tellijohn