Strategies for preserving intestinal length in the short-bowel syndrome

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35 Scopus citations


Total parenteral nutrition now permits long-term survival in patients after massive intestinal resection. Surgical therapy for the short-bowel syndrome is still largely experimental and cannot be recommended routinely. Thus, prevention of intestinal resection and conservation of intestinal length, when resection is necesary, should be emphasized. Strategies are presented that can be employed to preserve intestinal length when surgery is required in patients with a shortened bowel. These include strictureplasty, minimal resection, serosal patching, and intestinal tapering. In suitable candidates strictureplasty can relieve obstruction from strictures while avoiding resection. Minimal resection of involved intestine can be performed safely in selected patients with radiation injury or Crohn's disease. Serosal patching is an alternative to resection for the treatment of perforation or strictures of the intestine. Intestinal tapering can improve the function of dilated intestinal segments and eliminate the need for resection in intestinal atresia. The judicious use of these procedures can preserve intestinal length and obviate the need for long-term parenteral nutrition in patients after massive intestinal resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-213
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1987


  • Crohn's disease
  • Radiation enteritis
  • Short-bowel syndrome
  • Strictureplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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