Intestinal Rehabilitation Team

The Intestinal Rehabilitation Team, made up of pediatric gastroenterologists, surgeons, registered dietitians, and nurses, provides comprehensive care to infants, children, adolescents and their families with complex intestinal disorders that lead to short bowel syndrome (SBS) and intestinal failure (IF).

Short bowel syndrome is the leading cause of IF in children. It is best described as a state of malabsorption after the removal of a section of the small intestine with symptoms such as diarrhea and fluid and electrolyte imbalances. Intestinal failure occurs when a child’s intestines cannot digest enough nutrients and fluids to support his or her growth and development.

Intestinal rehabilitation is the process of weaning parenteral nutrition (TPN) while providing calories via the enteral route (or the stomach) by way of gastrostomy tube. During this process, our team ensures that the child is growing appropriately for his or her age and staying adequately hydrated. In addition, we closely monitor the health of each child’s liver by manipulating TPN based on clinical evaluation. Connecticut Children’s multidisciplinary team of intestinal rehabilitation experts optimize success and minimize complications associated with IF by:

  • Managing and calculating TPN requirements based on age-appropriate standards to optimize growth, while minimizing risks associated with intestinal failure associated liver disease
  • Prescribing and advancing enteral nutrition based on weekly clinical evaluations with skilled providers
  • Monitoring laboratory values of electrolytes, vitamin and minerals
  • Maintenance of care supplies and collaboration with home care company
  • Prescribing leading therapies such as small bowel bacterial overgrowth medication, ethanol lock therapy and cycling TPN

The process of intestinal rehabilitation can be a long and difficult road for families. The IRT team at Connecticut Children’s provides patient- and family-centered care and offers support to families throughout this process.