Ostomy in continuity: A novel approach for the management of children with complex short bowel syndrome

J Pediatr Surg. 2018 Oct;53(10):1989-1995. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2018.02.059. Epub 2018 Mar 4.


Introduction: Despite medical and surgical management, a subset of children with short bowel syndrome (SBS) who have discrepancy between proximal small bowel and distal colon have persistent feeding intolerance. We propose the use of an Ostomy in Continuity (OIC) (Bishop-Koop or Santulli) as a salvage procedure to decompress the proximal bowel while still maintaining maximal intestinal length, in these patients.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 104 SBS patients identified sixteen patients who underwent an OIC. Measures of reliance on parenteral nutrition (PN), growth, intestinal failure associated liver disease, the rate of central venous catheter infections and enterocolitis were collected. These parameters were compared before and after the placement of OIC in the same patients at a median follow-up period of 24months (range 3-52months). Outcome measures include intestinal autonomy and survival without intestinal and liver transplant.

Results: All 16 patients showed significant improvement in their enteral tolerance after OIC. The mean PN caloric requirement decreased from 95% to 21% (p=0.0001). The median weight Z score improved from -1.18 to 0.20 (p=0.0006) and the median height Z score improved from -2.74 to -1 (p=0.0001). The mean conjugated bilirubin decreased from 10.3mg/dl to 0.3mg/dl (p=0.0001) in nine patients with hyperbilirubinemia. There was no decrease in central venous catheter infections (CVCI) but there was a decrease in the rate of enterocolitis. None of the patients required intestinal or liver transplant. There was one minor skin excoriation complication in one patient with a Bishop-Koop stoma.

Conclusions: The application of an ostomy in continuity within a comprehensive intestinal rehabilitation program is a novel approach in the treatment of refractory short bowel syndrome that improves intestinal autonomy and decreases the rate of enterocolitis.

Type of study: Case Series.

Level of evidence: IV (Cohort Study).

Keywords: Intestinal failure; Ostomy in continuity; Parenteral nutrition; Short bowel syndrome; Surgical management.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Ostomy* / adverse effects
  • Ostomy* / methods
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome