Surgical treatment of the short bowel syndrome

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2 Scopus citations


Long-term survival after massive intestinal resection is now possible with parenteral nutritional support. The expense, morbidity, and inconvenience of this therapy, however, has led to continued interest in alternatives for the treatment of the short bowel syndrome. The goals of surgical therapy in the short bowel syndrome are to increase the area of absorption, slow intestinal transit, and reduce gastric hyperacidity. Selected patients with dilated bowel segments benefit from intestinal tapering or lengthening. Growing neomucosa to increase surface area is not yet clinically efficacious. The results of transplantation remain unsatisfactory despite recent advances in immunosuppression. Antiperistaltic segments, colon interposition, and intestinal valves may benefit patients with sufficient absorptive area but rapid intestinal transit. Recirculating loops are associated with prohibitive morbidity and mortality. Intestinal pacing is currently being investigated. Surgical treatment of the short bowel syndrome is not sufficiently safe and effective to recommend its routine use. Operations should be performed only on selected patients to achieve specific goals. Adjunct procedures should not be carried out at the initial intestinal resection. Most important is continued emphasis on the prevention of intestinal resection and conservation of the intestine when massive resection is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1988


  • Intestinal absorption
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • Short bowel syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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