Short bowel syndrome

Alternative Names

Small intestine insufficiency

Definition of Short bowel syndrome

Short bowel syndrome is a condition in which nutrients are not properly absorbed (malabsorption) due to severe intestinal disease or the surgical removal of a large portion of the small intestine.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

When areas of the small intestine are removed by surgery, or they are missing due to a birth defect (congenital defect), there may not be enough surface area left in the remaining bowel to absorb enough nutrients from food.

Treatment

Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms, and may include:

Expectations (prognosis)

The condition may improve over time if it occurs as a result of surgery. There may be a gradual improvement in nutrient absorption.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/4/2010

Digestive system
Digestive system organs

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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