Taymount Clinic @ Bahamas Medical Center
Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center follows the same protocols established by the UK clinic, and patients who opt for the clinic located just a half hour flight from south Florida will be implanted with gut bacteria from the stringently tested Taymount UK donor pool.
All consultations will be conducted by one of our Consultant specialists.
If you’re interested in a consultation with a Physician, please fill out the Pre-consultation Questionnaire.
2016/2017 FMT Clinic Dates
- December5 – 16, 2016
- January16 – 27
- February13 – 24
- March6 – 17
- March27 – April 7
- May8 – 19
- June12 – 23
- July17 – 28
- August14 – 25
- September11 – 22
- October16 – 27
- November13 – 24
- December4 – 15
What is Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)?
In its very simplest terms, Fecal Microbiota Transplant is the harvesting of the natural gut flora of a healthy person and implanting it into someone else in an effort to replace the bacteria and yeasts lost through illness and/or drug treatments like antibiotics.
Gut bacteria is very important. We know that FMT is the most effective cure for Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections and we’re researching how it might impact various digestive and auto-immune conditions. Our patients are usually people who have tried conventional drug based treatments with little success and who are interested in reading about the latest theories related to their conditions.
Large-scale trials data exists only for Clostridium difficile, but recent and on-going academic and medical research indicates that gut bacteria may play a significant part in modifying or treating the symptoms of:
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Leaky Gut
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
Initial Physician Consultation – US$250
Please note: The non-refundable Consultation Fee is deductible against the cost of treatment if you are deemed a suitable candidate for FMT and decide to make a booking and complete the treatment
Treatment Plan – Clostridium Difficile – US$5,463
Included in the price of the program is a pre-treatment QOL questionnaire and follow-up call 3 months after FMT program is completed. All consultations are conducted by our team of Physicians.
Treatment Plan – Other conditions – US$9,850
Included in the price of the program is a pre-treatment QOL questionnaire and follow-up call 3 months after FMT program is completed. All consultations are conducted by our team of Physicians.
These FAQs are not to be interpreted as instructions for home treatments. The Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center will not accept responsibility for any outcomes caused from anyone using these FAQs as part of a home treatment protocol not individually and expressly sanctioned by the Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Centre.
Does FMT replace medical treatment?
No, not at all. We stress that FMT is not a replacement for any medical procedure whatsoever. Patients should ALWAYS refer to their registered Medical Practitioner in the first instance and we recommend that medical advice be sought before booking or undertaking FMT treatment.
What is the difference between Fecal Transplants and Fecal Microbiota Transplants?
Fecal Transplant – whole stool, including food particles, blood cells, mucus, excretory toxins and yeasts, are blended in an environment that is toxic to 90% of the bacterial species. Often the donor is not adequately screened for pathogenic diseases and in some cases not at all.
Fecal Microbiota Transplants – for safety, the donor stool needs to come from a screened donor tested for diseases including HIV, Hepatitis and other such serious diseases. Once the donor has passed the tests, we harvest the bacterial content from the stool and store for 3 months in our ultra-low freezer at -80ºC, when we re-test our donors. Only when the second test is clear, do we take the stored samples and use them. This gives us a batch of samples completely enclosed by two successful tests, ensuring the complete safety of the implants.
What is the success rate with my particular condition?
We can make no claims for any particular disease remission, we can only quote the statistics that have been published so far. One of the world’s foremost pioneering specialists; the Physician Professor TJ Borody has been using FMT for over 20 years and has published a large number of papers relating to various conditions that have responded favorably to FMT treatment. He quotes 98% successful remission for Clostridium difficile and to date our partners at The Taymount Clinic, have seen similar results with this condition – all cases they have treated have tested positive for C. diff before treatment and negative after treatment using three implants over three days.
For other conditions the results vary widely but in most cases, if further “maintenance” treatments are used the effectiveness increases. Professor Borody has reported that the longer the treatment regime, the higher the success percentage. It takes a long time to establish a permanent microbiome, so gradually re-building the bacterial flora can take time. In some cases, he is quoting two years to fully repopulate the bowel. This would be using top-ups roughly monthly or fortnightly.
In all cases, we urge prospective patients to do their own research concerning their particular condition and see what the published success rates are for those. We do not make any claims, or promises as this is cutting-edge treatment and the exact protocols for a specific disease, have not yet been established. We look forward to a time when double-blind, placebo-controlled trials will be run for FMT (and Taymount Clinic has been approached to be part of those trials to supply the treatments), but that is sometime off as yet. FMT is experimental biological treatment and we cannot make predictions for any one individual.
Our protocols are broadly similar although not identical to those of Professor TJ Borody of the Centre of Digestive Diseases in Sydney. As this is pioneering work we are currently under close examination for any claims made relating to the treatment. However, there are many papers which can be found published on the Internet which describe the treatment and response of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease to FMT. The results are encouraging, but we cannot support this with any independent written medical data.
Can FMT “cure” my condition?
We understand why people who contact us expect a clear and precise set of outcomes. There is a huge amount of information on the Internet from many sources, mostly unqualified, that lead people to think that the outcomes are very clear cut. Expectations conflict when people talk to clinics that actually perform the procedure. There are very few clinics worldwide that perform FMT for conditions other than Clostridium difficile infections.
Our experiences are based on over 4,000 procedures which is probably one of the largest numbers of procedures conducted anywhere in the world. This gives the Taymount Clinic a very different perspective from the so-called Internet experts that in our view are distorting and mismanaging patient expectations.
Scientific and medical research into the effectiveness of FMT for specific conditions has really only just started in the last 2-3 years and science is still a long way from being able to provide the medical and scientific community with a clear and definite results. This is why it is impossible, unethical and quite frankly, irresponsible to make any specific claims on effectiveness with any disease state other than Recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (which now has copious and conclusive scientific data available and is now an authorized medical treatment protocol in the UK).
For these reasons we will not give percentages for remission.
The Taymount Clinic never persuades or encourages anyone to undergo FMT. It is the primary function of the consultation to determine whether the treatment is appropriate for the patient’s presenting condition and that the patient’s level of health is not acute so that they will tolerate the treatment program.
We encourage patients to conduct all their own research into FMT in order that they understand the process and have a reasonable acceptance on the limitations of the treatment.
What is your success rate with my condition?
We regularly get asked if we have studies and statistical information relating to individual conditions. Every single patient presents in a different way, even patients diagnosed with the same condition. This is because there are social and environmental factors as well as co-morbidity with underlying disease conditions (disclosed or not) that can significantly affect the patient’s subsequent presentation. If we were to carry out studies on each unique set of conditions we would have 400+ studies with an n=1 (number of patients = 1). This is clearly not a conclusive study method! However, there are currently many long-tem studies being done at various universities and research centers around the world using FMT for various IBD, which hopefully will eventually yield some useful statistics as to what sort of outcomes we could predict with particular conditions.
I had FMT and did not experience any improvement, what would you suggest?
Unfortunately, there are absolutely no guarantees in the outcome of the treatment and this is explained in the initial consultation. If you have no improvement at all, then it would suggest that either your gut flora was not the whole problem, or you might be a very slow responder and we could discuss a way for you to continue with implants at intervals for the long term.
At Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center, we specialize in gut flora restoration. It might be that there is an underlying problem that just did not respond to restoring the gut flora to near normal; it could be that there is something else that needs the attention of a different kind of specialist.
It might well be that you have underlying toxicity, allergy or even heavy metal or environmental poisoning which might be giving rise to these symptoms.
FMT restores the gut flora to nearer normal than it was before. In people where certain health conditions are arising as a consequence of a dysbiotic gut flora, we often see resolution of those conditions just by ‘resetting’ the gut flora.
If you didn’t seem to get even initial improvement, it is not clear whether continuing to have top-ups would be of any benefit to you. We don’t yet have the results of long-term large-scale studies to show whether this approach would be effective or not. This is going to become clearer statistically as the on-gong trials start to come to a conclusion over the next few years, but they will still not give any individual guarantee or prediction.
FMT often works really well for a lot of people and is safely free of side effects, unlike a lot of pharmaceutical treatments; so in many cases it is worth trying for cases where everything else has not brought resolution. It is hugely helpful to many people, but it is unfortunately not the magic cure or panacea for everything for all people that we would hope.
Can you treat children?
Yes we can treat children – Minimum age treated 5 years old.
What are the risks of this treatment?
We have observed that in the case of advanced and acute inflammation, it is possible, although uncommon, for a commensal species of bacterium causing no problems whatsoever in the donor, to exacerbate the inflammation in the recipient. In most instances the inflammation appears to reduce without the need for pharmaceutical intervention. On rare occasions patients return to their own medical physicians to control the inflammation. In general terms, commensal microflora are a part of normal daily life in the donor and if the donor is tested negative for important pathogenic infections and conditions, then the same microflora should in most cases, transplant safely into a donor without complications. We have seen no documented cases of major side effects.
Are clinic personnel medically trained/qualified?
FMT is currently at the investigative stage and for the most part, microbiologists and academics are carrying out the research work into the effectiveness and relevance of the procedure with a range of conditions. The United Kingdom medical authorities do not classify FMT as a medical procedure, although once the research has reached an advanced state with sufficient positive trials data, medical adoption is likely to follow.
In preparation for medical adoption, treatment at the Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center is carried out by trained Nurses with direct gastroenterological experience. Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center has Physicians Dr Beverton Moxey and Dr Gemma Rolle onboard as the joint Chief Medical Officers for the FMT program. In addition to conducting all patient consultations, they are responsible for overseeing our clinical standards and procedures.
Where can I find Scientific Papers published about FMT?
There is information on the Taymount Clinic website with links to a few key studies about FMT – click this link for details:
As a rule of thumb and to make for a useful comparison, recently published papers suggest that drugs are working at 11% success rates when worked out statistically.
We just observe that some cases resolve really quickly and the more stubborn cases respond over a longer period of time, you need to have patience as this is a non-dynamic, subtle and natural treatment.
How do I become a patient at Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center?
If you have a medical problem and would like to try our FMT program, you should discuss it with your doctor. He or she will have access to published research through medical journals as well as the materials published on the Taymount Clinic website and will help you decide whether you should take the step of booking a consultation with us. You can find out the next availability and book a consultation via our website or call toll-free from the US 866-277-5054 or in The Bahamas 242-302-4676 or 242-302-4775.
Consultations with one of our Physicians last about one hour and cost $250.
If it is mutually decided at the consultation that you wish to go ahead with FMT, you will be informed as to the next program availability. To book a place on a program, a deposit of US $1,000 must be paid. The remaining balance payment for treatment should be made at least 2 weeks before your treatment commencement date.
How do you administer the implant?
Some FMT researchers use a ‘Top-Down” process where a nasogastric tube is inserted and tracked down through the esophagus and stomach, sometimes into the duodenum.For a number of reasons, which include issues of safety and digestive physiology, we cannot agree with this method of implant.
We utilize a rectal catheter, which is very slim and unobtrusive.
How long does the treatment take and how long will I be in the clinic each day?
Your first day of treatment will take two to three hours. Each subsequent day will take around an hour. When you book an FMT program, the list of dates and times of your treatment will be issued so you can plan your treatment days accordingly.
What is the preparation period?
Even people suffering with continual diarrhea as part of their disease condition, may have impacted, old fecal material adhering to the walls of their colon, almost cemented in with old mucus and debris. Some parts of the colon can even be constipated whilst other areas are causing diarrhea. So we recommend the colon cleanser to everybody.
Once you are scheduled for treatment, we will provide you with a Preparation Guide. We offer a choice of three different preparation methods as we have found that this is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation and people have different needs, tolerances and conditions, so we have developed a choice of methods. The main aim is to arrive at the clinic with a ‘pink and squeaky clean” colon in order to maximize the chance of a good outcome from the FMT treatment.
Am I allowed to eat before an FMT implant?
Do not eat a large meal immediately before your treatment but don’t come hungry. Eat moderately so you are neither hungry nor over-full.
Should I follow a special diet during my FMT treatment at the Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center?
We do not give any dietary advice until towards the end of the program as it is often unwise to change too many things at once and your body is getting used to the implants for the first few days.
Full dietary discussion is done during your time at the clinic to give you tools to go forwards.
Do you recommend Probiotics?
Probiotics should be taken to support the new microbiome by improving and enhancing the gut environment;
While commercially prepared probiotics do not colonise, they can be useful to help produce an environment which is richly supportive of the resident microbiome and can encourage their growth and establishment.
During the course of your treatment we will discuss the recommended probiotic and dosage with you.
Can I exercise during the FMT treatment?
Do not plan vigorous or hard exercise during the program time. Take long, leisurely walks on the beach and yoga or Pilates if that is your normal habit. But if you go to a gym, do the gentler exercise and steam, sauna and swim. We have a Medical Fitness Center @Bahamas Medical Center that you are welcome to join for the duration of your stay. The aim is not to stress the body, not to stimulate the peristaltic action of the bowel, particularly following the implant treatment. The emphasis is always on rest, relaxation and plenty of sleep.
Do I need to bring a family member to be my donor?
No. We are in control of the whole donor process. We have found that in the early days of FMT, donors were drawn from the family members or cohabitees, but these people can all share a similar microbiome (even if they are not sick or showing any symptoms of dysbiosis), and implanting between such groups is not advantageous. So we have adopted the protocol that most researchers are currently using and that is to use donor stool as our base material. The samples used at Taymount Clinic @Bahamas Medical Center come directly from Taymount Clinic in the UK, where the donors are carefully chosen, slim, healthy and food-conscious individuals who are coached to eat a highly organic omnivorous diet with organic grass-fed meats and animal products, so they have a diverse microbiota.
A very comprehensive list of blood tests and stool tests are carried out. When the donor passes the tests, they begin to save their processed samples in our ultra-low freezer (-80ºC). Then after three months they test again and if the test is successful, then they release the samples for use in clinic. Only samples taken between two tests can be relied upon to be disease-free. Where our potential donors have less than optimal microbiota profiles, we can cross-implant between donors to share the best spectrum and ensure that all our donors are of the same quality.
I would like my donor to be vegetarian/vegan/gluten free as I am; can you arrange this?
It needs to be remembered that we are not implanting whole stool. We sieve in the laboratory sieve-stack oscillator, down to a size of 20 microns, which is 20 millionths of a millimetre. Most food particles are larger than this and the bacteria are normally 5 microns or less. So we are separating the bacteria from the food and colon waste materials. We then centrifuge and wash the bacterial “pellet” so that even less food matter and waste materials are present. This represents as close as we can get to food-free bacterial extracts, so it is highly likely that no food matter is present.
The only reason donor diet is important then, is that we want them to be as chemical-free as possible and to make sure that they eat a broad intake of foods in order to foster a complete microbiome – one that is likely to contain all the families and species of desirable bacteria. If they were to be strict vegetarian or vegan, there may be an absence of whole groups of bacteria.
We do however, insist on non-smokers and non-drinkers to keep the samples free of carcinogens and alcohol, either of which would possibly be able to go through the sieves into the implants.
I want to do FMT at home, can you supply me with implants, instructions and / or equipment?
Home treatments and supplies are available for purchase, once you have gone through the 10 day treatment at the Taymount Clinic. Education will be given during the treatment.
Are there any recommendations for patients regarding an on-going implant program when they get home?
Not as a generality. Every patient responds differently and every condition needs a unique approach. Therefore there cannot be any standardized “prescriptive” approach to on-going treatments after a patient returns home. It is not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. Each patient needs to find which treatment approach works best for them in their own unique environment, whether it is daily, weekly or monthly. Only the patient’s own response can provide evidence for the correct treatment program for them and we help you design a schedule of top-ups, which may be the most beneficial for you. It does have to remain flexible to adjust to your needs and symptom response long term.
Can I claim the costs of FMT from my medical insurance?
You should check with your insurance carrier to determine whether or not they will reimburse you for the cost of FMT treatment.
Where can I stay during my treatment period?
Nassau, Bahamas has a variety of hotels for you to select from. Our team has visited all of the hotels and resorts listed on our website and deemed them suitable for our patients.
If you prefer or need private room or home accommodations for your two-week stay in Nassau, check out the many listings on airbnb.com. We have not personally inspected these properties, but most include reviews by other visitors who have stayed there.
Our concierge team will be happy to assist you with accommodation and other arrangements to make your stay with us as pleasant as possible.