Background/Aims: The approach to small bowel obstruction, when unrelieved with medical management, is open or laparoscopic exploration, often necessitating lysis of adhesions and the resection of any compromised bowel. In patients with prior bowel resections, the surgeon must tread a fine line, so as not to precipitate the clinical derangement known as short bowel syndrome (SBS). Techniques have been described that curtail the extent of intestinal resection, but these are primarily limited to the pediatric literature and are not commonly practiced in the general surgical population. Methods: We report a case of a complicated small bowel obstruction in a patient with pre-existing short bowel length, in which a tapering enteroplasty was performed. Results: Antimesenteric tapering successfully achieved a return of bowel function, avoiding the morbidity of an extended small bowel resection and the possibility of developing SBS. Conclusion: In such patients who are at high risk of developing SBS, in whom a segment of dilated small bowel has become defunctionalized, leading to significant and life-threatening symptoms, this procedure has the potential to help prevent SBS and its lifelong complications and associated mortality.
- Antimesenteric tapering enteroplasty
- Short bowel syndrome
- Small bowel obstruction