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Case report
Successful management of ultra short bowel syndrome in an elderly patient
  1. Cathal Hayes1,
  2. Waqar Khan2 and
  3. Kevin Barry2
  1. 1General Surgery, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Drogheda, Louth, Ireland
  2. 2General Surgery, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Mr Cathal Hayes; cathalhayes{at}


An 83-year-old woman presented emergently with a 1-week history of increasing abdominal pain and vomiting. Imaging confirmed an incarcerated incisional hernia containing viable small bowel. Laparotomy revealed profound ischaemic insult extending beyond the hernial contents, affecting virtually the entire small bowel, consistent with acute superior mesenteric artery thrombosis. The patient underwent resection of the entire small bowel except for 20 cm of the jejunum and 15 cm of the terminal ileum. Her duodenum and large bowel were unaffected. Despite her age, comorbidities and only 35 cm of the remnant small bowel, this patient made a remarkable recovery. She transitioned from total parenteral nutrition dependence in an acute hospital setting to being discharged into the community, relying on partial parenteral nutrition two times per week in a home setting.

  • malabsorption
  • malnutrition
  • gastrointestinal surgery

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  • Contributors The conception of this article was carried out by CH and KB. The drafting of the article was performed by CH. The critical revision of this article was performed by WK. The final approval for the version to be published was decided by KB.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.