Long-term results of surgery for bowel lengthening: how many transplants are avoided, for which patients?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

One of the biggest successes of intestinal rehabilitation programs is that more patients achieve enteral autonomy without transplantation. Many factors are responsible of this accomplishment including new parenteral formulas, better catheter management, surgical management, and the experience of the teams. The purpose of this review is to analyze recent published papers regarding intestinal lengthening procedures trying to find out how many transplantations are avoided and for which patients.

Recent findings

A trend towards performing less intestinal transplants has been identified in the last years. The general improvement of intestinal rehabilitation accounts for this step forward. However, the role of intestinal lengthening has not been clarified.

Summary

Surgical techniques for autologous reconstructive surgery are not limited to bowel lengthening. Longitudinal intestinal lengthening and tailoring and serial transverse enteroplasty offered good results in terms of intestinal adaptation, long-term survival, and subsequent need of intestinal transplantation. In recent series, less than one quarter of patients who underwent intestinal lengthening required salvage intestinal transplantation.

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