What is a jejunum tissue transfer?

Jejunum Tissue Transfer
A jejunum tissue transfer is gaining popularity due to its effectiveness and reliability.

Swallowing defects due to esophageal cancer can be repaired using jejunum flaps (grafts). A jejunum tissue transfer helps restore swallowing, which can be affected by esophageal cancer.

The small intestine is composed of three segments:

  • Duodenum
  • Jejunum
  • Ileum

The surgeon takes about 10 to 20 cm of the segment of jejunum along with its blood supply to use as jejunum flaps.

Why is a jejunum tissue transfer done?

  • To repair defects of the pharynx after surgical removal of cancer of the pharynx
  • To restore the patient’s ability to swallow

A jejunum tissue transfer is not recommended with:

  • Previous surgery of the jejunum
  • Uncontrolled abdominal swelling due to buildup of fluid
  • Chronic conditions of the jejunum
  • Patients who require the reconstruction of mouth, lips, tongue, nose, and other upper tract organs

How is a jejunum tissue transfer performed?

Before the procedure

  • The patient will be asked to undergo an endoscopy or a CT scan.
  • Bowel preparation will be given the night before the surgery.
  • The patient will receive antibiotics before the surgery.

During the procedure

  • A long segment of the jejunum is removed using laparoscopy.
  • The blood supply is located and harvested.
  • The flaps harvested are placed at the site of the defect and adjusted.
  • The incisions are closed.

After the procedure

  • The patient is monitored overnight in an ICU.
  • The patient is given medication for post-operative pain.
  • Food is given via a feeding tube for a few days.
  • The surgeon might perform a barium imaging test to check internal healing after 10 to 14 days.

What are the risks and complications of a jejunum tissue transfer?

The common risk and complications of a jejunum tissue transfer may include: 

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clot at the jejunum
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Fistula formation
  • Narrowing of the jejunum
  • Infection

A jejunum tissue transfer is gaining popularity due to its effectiveness and reliability. The complication rates have declined with significant advancement in the techniques used in a jejunum tissue transfer.


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Medically Reviewed on 6/4/2020
Medscape Medical Reference