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J Pediatr Surg. 2006 Jan;41(1):113-9; discussion 113-9.

The Bianchi procedure: a 20-year single institution experience.

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Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



The emergence of improved outcomes for small bowel (SB) transplantation has raised questions regarding the utility of autologous intestinal lengthening for patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS). Chronic immunosuppression, multiple hospitalizations, and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease are significant adverse factors. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the 20-year single institution experience with the Bianchi procedure and analyze its role in the management of pediatric SBS.


Medical records for 19 consecutive patients who underwent the Bianchi procedure from 1984 to 2004 were reviewed. Patients were categorized into 3 groups: less than 5 years, 5 to 9.9 years, and 10 years or more after surgery. Various outcome variables were evaluated. Data are presented in tabular format as the number of patients (%) or average (range).


Nineteen patients were included in the study. Of 16 patients weaned from total parenteral nutrition (TPN), 7 (44%) responded to Bianchi procedure alone and 9 patients (56%) required SB transplant at an average of 4.09 years (range, 0.7-13.64 years) post-Bianchi. Four patients (21%) died, 1 received SB transplant and died of unrelated causes, and 3 were still on TPN and had not received SB transplantation.


The Bianchi procedure facilitated weaning from TPN and eliminated the need for supplemental nutrition in select patients. Although the role of surgery is primarily adjunctive in the treatment of SBS, it offers therapeutic benefit in decreasing parenteral nutrition requirements and promoting intestinal adaptation. In particular, the Bianchi procedure has significant potential to improve the prognosis of pediatric patients with SBS.

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