Surgical and medical approach to patients requiring total small bowel resection: Managing the “no gut syndrome”

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Abstract

Background.

Total resection of the jejunum and ileum, a rarely performed procedure, is indicated after mesenteric vascular events, trauma, or resection of abdominal neoplasms. We describe our recent experience with the operative and medical management of patients with “no gut syndrome.”

Methods.

We retrospectively reviewed 341 adult patients who were referred to our center between January 2013 and December 2016.

Results.

Thirteen patients with a mean age of 42.5 years (range 17 to 66 years) underwent near total enterectomy. Indications for small bowel resection were vascular event (n = 5), intraabdominal fibroid/desmoid (n = 4), and trauma (n = 4). Foregut secretions were managed with duodenocolostomy (n = 5), tube decompression (n = 5), and end duodenostomy (n = 2). Duodenal stump was stapled off in 4 cases. One patient underwent a spleen-preserving duodenopancreatectomy combined with total enterectomy. Biliary secretions were managed with choledochocolostomy. All patients were discharged on full total parenteral nutrition infused over a 10- to 16-hour period. Average total parenteral nutrition volume and caloric requirement were 2,800 mL/day (range 2,000 to 4,000) and 1,774 Kcal/day (range 1,443 to 2,290), respectively. Patients who underwent duodenocolonic anastomosis received smaller TPN volume (33.8 vs 49.8 mL/kg). Ten patients (77%) required supplemental intravenous fluid. There were no intraoperative or perioperative deaths. One patient was lost to follow-up 2 months after operation. After a 20-month median follow-up (range 4 to 48 months), 9 patients are still alive (75%). All patients with duodenocolostomy remain alive (median follow-up 36.4 months). Three patients underwent uneventful isolated small bowel transplantation, and another 4 are being evaluated or are already listed for visceral transplantation.

Conclusion.

In summary, resection of the entire small bowel is feasible and can be a lifesaving procedure for a select group of patients. Long-term survival can be achieved in specialized centers. In addition, reestablishment of gastrointestinal tract continuity after total enterectomy appears to be the best option for postoperative fluid and electrolyte management.

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