The Bianchi Procedure in a Patient with Jejunal Atresia
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While small-bowel transplantation remains an option for the management of short-bowel syndrome (SBS), every effort must be made to optimize the function of the native bowel. This report describes a patient with SBS who dramatically improved after a Bianchi procedure. The patient was born with type IIIb jejunal atresia, complicated by volvulus of the terminal ileum. He was left with 40 cm of small bowel and his ileocecal valve. During the first 20 months of his life, he was always hospitalized except for 3 months. He was on parenteral nutrition (TPN) and suffered multiple episodes of central line sepsis. Massive small-bowel dilatation caused a functional bowel obstruction with bacterial overgrowth, and villous atrophy of the jejunal mucosa was discovered on biopsies done by colonoscopy. In March 1994, we elected to proceed with a Bianchi procedure. Thirty cm of jejunum were divided longitudinally. During the following year, his enteral tolerance steadily improved to the point where TPN could be discontinued. We conclude that pediatric surgeons should not hesitate to use this procedure in the management of SBS.
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