Typically presents as a complication of extensive bowel resection.
The intestine adapts over time to be more efficient at nutrient absorption; the extent of adaptation determines the extent of recovery.
Treatment and prognosis are dependent on the length and location of remaining bowel.
Management includes electrolyte and fluid replacement, provision of adequate macro-nutrients, and prevention and treatment of micro-nutrient deficiencies during intestinal adaptation.
Primary anastomosis of residual small bowel to colon, when possible, is the most important surgical procedure to reduce the need for parenteral nutrition (PN).
There should be an awareness of the possibility for medication malabsorption.
Physicians and patients need to watch closely for signs of dehydration, micro-nutrient deficiency, liver disease, and PN-related complications such as catheter infections and occlusions.
Short bowel syndrome (SBS) refers to a condition wherein substantial portions of the small intestine are absent, either congenitally or due to resection. This results in a loss of surface area for fluid, nutrient, and medication absorption, causing an inability to maintain protein-energy, fluid, electrolyte, or micro-nutrient balance when ingesting a conventionally accepted, normal diet. 
Center for Gastroenterology and Nutrition
AB declares he has no competing interests
Dr Alan Buchman would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Michael Roth, a previous contributor to this monograph. MR is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Vanderbilt Center for Human Nutrition
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
DS has been an advisor for B. Braun and Baxter Healthcare; has received lecture fees from Coram Healthcare, EMD Serono, and Nutrishare; has prepared a newsletter for Mayne Pharma; and has received research funding from Baxter Healthcare and NPS Pharmaceutical.
Intestinal Failure Unit
Not disclosed. JS is the author of references cited in this monograph.
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