Gastrointestinal Cancer Center at UF Health Cancer CenterShort bowel syndrome is when your child has trouble absorbing enough nutrients to stay healthy. This can happen due to damage to the small intestine, where most digestion and nutrient absorption take place. Damage to the small intestine can occur for several reasons:


  • Birth defects. In infants and young children, especially those born prematurely, a number of birth defects and other conditions can damage their intestines and keep them from getting the nutrients they need.
  • Part of the small intestine is missing at birth or has to be surgically removed. In older children, typical reasons for this surgery include injury to the abdomen or inflammation from Crohn's Disease.
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis. The most common cause of short bowel syndrome in infants, this condition destroys part of the tissue in the intestine, which then has to be removed.


Short bowel syndrome is a rare and challenging condition. At the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital Center for Digestive Health and Nutrition, you’ll receive the most advanced care available for your child.