Repeat serial transverse enteroplasty procedure (reSTEP): Is it worth it?

Caroline Lemoine, Kevin Larkin, Katherine Brennan, Carmyn Zoller-Thompson, Valeria C Cohran, Riccardo A Superina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The utility of repeat serial transverse enteroplasty (reSTEP) has been questioned after patients failed to achieve enteral autonomy. We compared the outcomes after reSTEP to one lifetime STEP (oneSTEP), and tried to identify patients at risk for reSTEP failure. Methods: All STEPs done at our institution were reviewed. Growth, enteral autonomy, bowel-derived bloodstream infection hospital admissions, complications, and need for bowel transplantation were evaluated (p<0.05 considered significant). Results: 24 patients underwent 32 STEP (16 oneSTEP, 8 reSTEP). reSTEP patients were younger at first surgery (1.01±1.05 vs. oneSTEP 3.06±4.73 years, p = 0.24). Median time to reSTEP was 1.1 year (0.6–5.7). Weight-for-length z-scores improved after reSTEP (0.02±1.40 to 0.22±1.42, p = 0.81). Bowel-derived bloodstream infections decreased after surgery (oneSTEP 1.50±2.25 to 0.94±1.73, p = 0.50; reSTEP 1.88±2.10 to 1.66±2.32, p = 0.52). 37.5% (9/24) patients achieved enteral autonomy at last follow-up: 7/16 oneSTEP, 2/8 reSTEP (p = 0.37). Two complications occurred after oneSTEP (staple line ulcer, leak), none following reSTEP. Three patients (oneSTEP 1/16, reSTEP 2/8, p = 0.19) underwent bowel transplantation (all gastroschisis). Conclusion: Similar postoperative outcomes after reSTEP and single STEP (improved enteral tolerance, reduced rates of infections) support the use of reSTEP when clinically indicated, although reSTEP in young infants with a history of gastroschisis may need further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Bowel transplantation
  • Bowel-derived bloodstream infection
  • Complications
  • Enteral autonomy & tolerance
  • Growth
  • Level of evidence: III
  • Serial transverse enteroplasty procedure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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