Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 275, Issue 5, pp 381–383 | Cite as

Small bowel obstruction in pregnancy

  • Anke Redlich
  • Steffen Rickes
  • Serban-Dan CostaEmail author
  • Stefanie Wolff
Original Article



Intestinal obstruction in pregnancy is rare. Symptoms are often unspecific and a high level of suspicion is essential for early diagnosis. Fetal and maternal mortality rates are higher during pregnancy due to delay in diagnosis.


A 31-year-old primigravida with a history of abdominal surgery was admitted because of worsening abdominal pain, abdominal distension and elevated pancreatic enzymes. Ultrasound showed dilated small bowel loops. Explorative laparotomy revealed a small bowel obstruction with partial bowel necrosis caused by a single adhesion. A jejuno-jejunostomy was performed. Five days later, she developed peritonitis. A secondary laparotomy and caesarean section were done.


In spite of timely diagnosis and prompt surgical intervention, our case was still complicated by peritonitis and early delivery. This underlines the necessity of immediate clinical suspicion. Small bowel obstruction should be considered in differential diagnosis of pregnant patients with a history of abdominal surgery.


Small bowel obstruction Pregnancy Acute abdomen Abdominal scars Abdominal adhesions 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anke Redlich
    • 1
  • Steffen Rickes
    • 2
  • Serban-Dan Costa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefanie Wolff
    • 3
  1. 1.University Women’s ClinicOtto-von-Guericke UniversityMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of GastroenterologyOtto-von-Guericke UniversityMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of General SurgeryOtto-von-Guericke UniversityMagdeburgGermany

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