A desperate Canadian man suffering from an intestinal bacterial infection after undergoing routine surgery 18 months ago gave himself a fecal enema using feces from his cousin.
The 66-year-old man from Cape Breton, who wishes to be anonymous, said that after a hospital in Sydney refused to give him the gastroenterological procedure, he decided to take matters into his own hands, according to The Chronicle Herald.
"It’s a nasty topic to discuss, but fecal transplants work, and I was not ready to wait any longer," the man told The Chronicle Herald.
"And I’m feeling good, but my fingers are crossed and I’m hoping and praying it doesn’t come back," he said.
Using a mixture of water and feces donated by his cousin, whose stools had been tested for blood-borne infections or parasites, the man performed the infusion in his own bathroom.
Dr. Baroudi Fashir was supposed to perform the fecal transplant, a treatment that is supposed to restore the intestines natural bacterial environment and involves injecting donated and tested feces into a patient’s large intestine with a colonoscope.
While the hospital’s medical advisory committee had approved the protocol for the procedure, there were no established guidelines for the procedure so Fashir could not perform the transplant, the The Chronicle Herald reported.
Fashir was surprised when he was told on Monday that his patient had performed the procedure himself at home.
"He did it by himself?" Fashir told The Chronicle Herald. "It’s not good to do by himself."
He said that he would never advise anyone to perform the procedure themselves because the enema does not get the feces into the intestines, and just putting it into the rectum is not the proper way to do it.
"The donor stool has to be screened to make sure there is no infection, or cancer or HIV — it is very dangerous," the doctor said.
While Fashir understands the man’s desperation, because having a C. difficile infection is very painful, he warned that not everyone infected with the disease is a good candidate for fecal transplant.
Fashir said that the hospital told him that they will approve the procedure after a reasonable period of time. He said that fecal transplant is a simple procedure and does not constitute a hazard to the hospital.
"This procedure has never been done in the province before, and we need to research to gain some insight into how it’s done elsewhere," Greg Boone, a spokesman for Cape Breton Regional Hospital, told The Chronicle Herald. He could say how long it’ll be before the guidelines are set and the procedure can be performed at the hospital.
The man who performed the fecal transplant himself told The Chronicle Herald that the Sydney hospital would only add to its reputation if it became the first Nova Scotia facility to approve the procedure.