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Effects of massive bowel resection 

Effects of massive bowel resection
Effects of massive bowel resection

Stephen J. Middleton

, Simon M. Gabe

, and Raymond J. Playford

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date: 28 February 2021

Major vascular events involving the superior mesenteric artery and small-bowel volvulus are the commonest reasons for adults to require massive intestinal resection. The ability of the residual bowel to adapt after resection varies greatly between patients, but common postoperative problems include sepsis, diarrhoea (or high-output stoma losses), fluid and electrolyte imbalance, malnourishment (protein–energy malnutrition, mineral and vitamin deficiencies), gallstones, renal stones, and psychological illness. Where appropriate, oral nutrition, initially consisting of low-volume polymeric feeds administered by nasogastric or enteral tube, should be started within the first few days of surgery. Small-volume, frequent, solid or semisolid meals with low long-chain triglycerides and (when colon is in continuity) oxalate content should be introduced subsequently, and isotonic electrolyte solutions given as required. Oral multivitamin and mineral supplements are usually needed, and vitamin B12 injections may be required. There should be regular long-term monitoring of fat-soluble vitamins (A and D), vitamin B12, folate, magnesium, zinc, and bone status. Long-term intravenous nutrition is sometimes needed. Growth factor administration, especially glucagon-like peptide-2 analogues, may stimulate bowel adaptation. Small-bowel lengthening may be considered for patients with dilated bowel close to the length required. Those who are dependent on peripheral nutrition and develop complications such as loss of venous access or liver disease should be considered for intestinal transplantation.

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