Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a condition of the small intestines often found in small children. A child with SBS doesn’t have enough small intestine. Their little body can’t extract the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. The small intestine is an important part of the digestive tract. it’s where most of the sugars, proteins and fats from the food we eat, are absorbed.
Short bowel syndrome (SBS, also short gut syndrome or simply short gut) is classed as a malabsorption disorder. Some children are born with a congenital short bowel or have been born without a sufficient length of intestine. Sometimes a large section of intestine may have been removed for surgery, to correct another intestinal problem.
Luckily, there are several ways to manage and treat SBS.
- severity depends on the remaining length of intestine and on how well the other organs in the child’s digestive system are working
- SBS is managed with IV or tube feedings, medications and sometimes surgery
- Long-term prognosis has been improving with the discovery of a nutritional supplement that can lessen the risk of liver damage and with innovative surgical procedures