AbstractBackground Congenital ultra-short bowel syndrome (USBS) is a challenging problem with a poor outcome. We report a new management approach for USBS infants that attempts to optimize gut growth potential. Methods We report five neonates with USBS in whom no correction was performed at primary surgery except placement of a gastrostomy (G) tube. Sham feeds were started with intermittent G-tube clamping to induce bowel dilatation/growth. Serial fluoroscopy was done until bowel caliber reached 5 cm. STEP was performed and continuity established to the colonic remnant. Small bowel length (SBL) and enteral caloric intake were tabulated. Results Patients were born with a mean residual SBL of 19 ± 7.6 cm (14.8% of expected). Median duration of sham feeds prior to STEP was 108 (range 27-232) days. Mean SBL at STEP was 47 ± 12.1 cm, which increased post-STEP to 70 ± 12.7 cm (a mean increase of 296% from birth, representing 36.4% ± 13.1% of expected gut length). With a median follow-up time of 20 months (range 8-28), 4/5 achieved > 50% enteral calories and have normal liver function. One has undergone liver transplantation. Conclusions In USBS patients, delayed surgical correction with sham feeds accelerates gut growth, optimizing potential for autologous reconstruction. This approach may offer greater opportunity for intestinal adaptation than traditional options.
- Intestinal failure
- Serial transverse enteroplasty
- Short bowel syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health