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Short small bowel syndrome

Short small bowel syndrome is a disease caused by surgical resection of most of the small intestine, loss of a significant part of the suction surface, and the development of intestinal digestion and absorption insufficiency.

Causes of occurrence: extensive resection of the small intestine is performed for adhesive obstruction, thrombosis of the intestinal blood vessels, intestinal tumors, wounds and injuries of the intestine.

Clinical symptomsthat allow you to suspect the disease:

  • Surgical intervention in the anamnesis
  • Diarrhea
  • General weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Dry skin and mucous membranes
  • Symptoms of hypovitaminosis
  • Cramps of the muscles of the arms and legs
  • Edema of the lower extremities
  • Anemia

The severity of clinical symptoms depends on a number of factors:

  1. the size of the remaining small intestine,
  2. from the location of the resected area - the initial parts of the small intestine, the middle loops or located closer to the transition of the small intestine to the large one;
  3. depending on the nature of the anastomosis (connection of the preserved sections): between the loops of the small intestine, the small intestine with the large intestine, the preservation or removal of the flap between the small intestine and the large intestine. The timing after the operation is important.

Examination to establish the diagnosis. The main method is X-ray and intestinal examination.

This examination will allow you to clarify the size of the remaining small intestine, the nature of the anastomosis and the place of its imposition

The danger of the disease is that untimely diagnosis and treatment can lead to the development of severe malabsorption syndrome with progressive weight loss up to exhaustion, deep disorders of metabolic processes.


In the initial period, the patient is prescribed full parenteral nutrition: intravenous drip drugs of protein, fat, glucose, salts and vitamins are prescribed. In the future, with the stabilization of the condition, the patient is gradually transferred to a sparing diet with an increased protein content, a decrease in the amount of fat and fiber. Correction of disturbed metabolic processes, treatment of diarrhea is carried out.

In the Moscow Clinical Scientific and Practical Center named after A. S. Loginov, the treatment of patients with short bowel syndrome is carried out jointly by gastroenterologists, resuscitators, and nutritionists.

Do not delay your visit to the specialists of our Center. This will help to diagnose this condition in a timely manner and choose the right treatment tactics. Doctors of the Department of Non-inflammatory Bowel Pathology of the State Medical Institution of the Moscow State Medical Center named after A. S. Loginov DZM are always ready to help you. 

GBUZ Moscow Clinical Scientific Center named after Loginov MHD