The prognosis is dependent on the underlying cause, the severity of SBS, the adaptation in the remaining bowel, the nature of any comorbidities and the effectiveness of management provided. Scientists have not yet found a way to prevent short bowel syndrome that is present at birth, as its cause is unknown.
It is possible for the intestines to adapt however this is not certain for all individuals with short bowel syndrome. The process is call Intestinal adaptation this usually occurs in children after removal of a large portion of their small intestine. The remaining small intestine goes through a period of adaptation and grows to increase its ability to absorb nutrients. Intestinal adaptation can take up to 2 years to occur, and during this time a person may be heavily dependent on parenteral or enteral nutrition.