FMT Specialist

Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, FACP -  - Gastroenterologist

Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition

Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, FACP

Gastroenterologist located in Century City, Los Angeles, CA

Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a treatment option that has proven highly beneficial for patients with recurrent C. difficile colitis, and FMT has many other potential therapeutic uses. Distinguished gastroenterologist Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, FACP, ABIHM, and his team at Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition in Century City have helped many patients by using FMT, and he may be able to help you, too. Call the clinic today to find out more, or make an appointment online.

FMT Q & A

What is FMT?

FMT stands for fecal microbiota transplant, also known as fecal transplantation or bacteriotherapy.

FMT is an established treatment for recurrent C. difficile colitis, involving transferring healthy stool samples from a donor to the patient’s gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Rahbar may also recommend FMT for other gastrointestinal conditions where there are insufficient quantities of healthy gut bacteria present.

Research into FMT is also showing great promise in developing new uses for fecal transplantation.

What is C. difficile colitis?

  1. difficile colitis is a condition that develops as a side effect of antibiotic treatment. While antibiotics perform a vital role in health care, they often kill off good bacteria in the gut, leading to digestive dysfunction. This can result in symptoms such as:
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Fever, in some cases

People who are over 65 or those who have pre-existing medical conditions could be at risk for more severe infections.

How does FMT help with C. difficile colitis?

FMT treats C. difficile colitis by reintroducing good bacteria into the gut to help replenish low levels caused by antibiotic treatment.

Dr. Rahbar diagnoses C. difficile colitis based on a DNA test that identifies the organism in a stool sample. Antibiotic therapy using metronidazole, vancomycin, or fidaxomicin are the standard treatments as they target the C. difficile organism.

However, in around 30% of cases, the infection comes back after the patient finishes the antibiotics. A fresh round of antibiotics might help, but the cycle could just start again, in which case FMT could break the cycle.

Who can donate for FMT?

Anyone who’s healthy can volunteer to donate stools for FMT. Potential donors should not have:

  • Taken antibiotics in the past six months
  • A compromised immune system
  • Had tattoos or body piercings in the past six months
  • Any history of drug use
  • Any history of high-risk sexual behavior
  • Been to prison
  • Traveled recently in high-risk locations
  • Any chronic gastrointestinal disorders

Donors have to undergo screening tests for blood-borne infections such as hepatitis and HIV, and parasitic infection in the stool, including having to be clear of infection with C. difficile.

How is FMT carried out?

Dr. Rahbar typically performs your FMT procedure using a colonoscopy. The colonoscope is a type of endoscope designed to go into your rectum and up to the top of your colon, where it delivers the donor stool. The procedure is minimally invasive with no surgery involved, just an intravenous (IV) sedative to keep you relaxed and calm.

To find out if FMT could be beneficial for your gastrointestinal condition, call Los Angeles Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition today, or book an appointment online.