Faecal Microbiota Transplant FAQs
Are FMTs Safe?
Yes, they are safe. As long as you have appropriately screened donors and the person administering the FMT is an expert, they are safe.
Can I have FMT even though there’s no evidence for my condition?
Anyone who is a good candidate for faecal microbiota transplant treatment is eligible. As FMT is still in the ‘experimental’ phases and has been for some time (except for clostridium Difficile Infection), Dr. Connelly would be happy to discuss and move forward with any patient as long as he has the appropriate consultations first and the patient is clear on the nature of the procedure and the lack of evidence for results.
How do you screen your donors?
Our FMT donors are given a series of blood tests and faecal tests, which are repeated every 12 months. In addition, all of our donors, go through uBiome testing, which basically tries to figure out exactly what’s the in the faecal sample of the donor. We do this so we can best match donor FMT to our patients.
Why do I need a consultation with the specialist first?
It’s important to remember that no two patients are ever the same. And whilst we do have schedules for certain conditions, Dr Connelly does need to assess each and every patient individually. The process is also a negotiation between Doctor and patient which is what sets us apart from other centres.
There are no right or wrong answers here. As research has been slow to produce definitive positive results for all types of conditions that FMT can be used for, the process is still being classified as ‘experimental’ for all things other than Clostridium Difficile Infection. This too is important to remember when discussing your individual treatment plan with Dr. Connelly.
Can I do FMTs at home?
Sure, you can. But you need to know how. And you must ensure your donors are appropriately screened and suitable for you. When someone tells you they’re ‘healthy’, what does this actually mean? The healthiest of people can be unsuitable. So please seek advice and do let us know straight up if you intend to do this so that we can assist with the donors or even show you the right way to mix.
How many FMTs will I need?
This is a negotiation between Doctor and Patient. There is no right or wrong answer here but Dr Connelly does have a lot of information on what is suitable and appropriate. This may be adapted to the individual.
Between 1 to 10 FMTs would be the quickest way to answer this question. But there may be even more than this required. And at times, some patients may require ongoing FMT to maintain their wellness.
Do I have to take antibiotics?
Some patients do need to take antibiotics prior to FMT, but not all. This decision is made between Doctor and Patient, and if a patient requires antibiotics and does not want to do this, Dr Connelly will adjust his treatment plan at the time.
Do I have to self administer?
Only if you want to. We have a program that caters for this in Essendon, Victoria, Australia. However, if you are traveling far from our centre this may be necessary.
Will I need a referral?
No, but you will need an initial consultation with Dr. Connelly before you can receive and FMT. If you are an Australian citizen and hold a medicare card, it is best to have a referral as you may be able to claim some of the appointment fees back.
Can I claim on Medicare or use my private health insurance?
FMT is seen as a new and experimental treatment method, therefore Medicare or private health insurance will not cover any of the expenses. FMT is not covered at all by Medicare or any Health Insurance or Government Agency in Australia. If you are an International patient, it is best to discuss this with your local Insurance provider.
Can I get frozen enemas?
Absolutely. Please speak to us about this. Only available for within Australia unfortunately. These can be purchased at any time from our offices in Essendon, Victoria.
Do I need to have my first enema via Colonoscopy?
Not always. In most cases it will be the most effective way to receive the first part of FMT. This is because it can be dumped all the way into the caecum in the large bowel. When FMT is delivered via enema it may only reach the descending colon or splenic flexure. It can be near impossible to reach any further.
How do I make an appointment?
Please contact us via our contact page or call us on 03 9372 0372