Short Bowel Syndrome

Short bowel syndrome is a group of problems affecting people who have had half or more of their small intestine removed. It is characterized by malabsorption due to loss of small intestinal surface area. The degree and type of resulting nutritional deficiencies depend on the length and location of the bowel that is lost. In general, patients will develop symptoms of short bowel syndrome when less than 200 cm of functional small bowel remains. As the majority of nutrient digestion and absorption is complete within the first 100 cm of jejunum, most patients will be able to maintain nutritional balance using oral feeding if at least 100 cm of intact jejunum is still present. Patients with less than 100 cm will likely require parenteral nutrition.

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