Surgical approach to short-bowel syndrome: Experience in a population of 160 patients

Jon S. Thompson, Alan N. Langnas, Lewis W. Pinch, Stuart Kaufman, Eamonn M.M. Quigley, Jon A. Vanderhoof

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177 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors reviewed their experience with short bowel syndrome to define the surgical approach to this problem in 160 patients. Methods: Forty-eight adults and 112 children were evaluated over a 15-year period. Results: Seventy-one patients (44%) adapted to resection and took enteral nutrition alone. Forty four patients (28%) were supported by parenteral nutrition (PN). Forty-five patients (28%) have had 49 surgical procedures. Fifteen patients with adequate intestinal length (> 120 cm in adults) but dilated dysfunctional bowel underwent stricturoplasty (n = 4) or tapering (n = 11). Thirteen patients (87%) demonstrated clinical improvement. Fourteen patients with shorter remnants (90120 cm) and rapid transit time received an artificial valve (n = 2) or a reversed segment (n = 1). All patients' conditions improved initially, but the reversed segment was revised or taken down. Fourteen patients with short remnants and dilated bowel underwent intestinal lengthening. Twelve patients' conditions improved (86%), one underwent transplantation, and one died. Sixteen patients with very short remnants (<60 cm) and complications of PN underwent solitary intestine (n = 4) or combined liver intestinal transplantation (n = 13). One-year graft survival was 65%. There have been five deaths. Conclusions: The surgical approach to short bowel syndrome depends on the patient's age, remnant length and caliber, intestinal function, and PN-related complications. Nontransplant procedures have a role in the treatment of selected patients. Intestinal transplantation is emerging as a potential therapy for patients with significant PN related complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-607
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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