The short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a state of malabsorption following intestinal resection where there is less than 200 cm of intestinal length. The management of short bowel syndrome can be challenging and is best managed by a specialised multidisciplinary team. A good understanding of the pathophysiological consequences of resection of different portions of the small intestine is necessary to anticipate and prevent, where possible, consequences of SBS. Nutrient absorption and fluid and electrolyte management in the initial stages are critical to stabilisation of the patient and to facilitate the process of adaptation. Pharmacological adjuncts to promote adaptation are in the early stages of development. Primary restoration of bowel continuity, if possible, is the principle mode of surgical treatment. Surgical procedures to increase the surface area of the small intestine or improve its function may be of benefit in experienced hands, particularly in the paediatric population. Intestinal transplant is indicated at present for patients who have failed to tolerate long-term parenteral nutrition but with increasing experience, there may be a potentially expanded role for its use in the future.
Trinity College Dublin ->