Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 295–302 | Cite as

Surgery for Obstructed Colorectal Malignancy in an Asian Population: Predictors of Morbidity and Comparison Between Left- and Right-Sided Cancers

  • Ker-Kan Tan
  • Richard Sim
Original Article



Surgical treatment of obstructed colorectal cancers has been associated with significant perioperative morbidity and mortality. This study was performed to review the spectrum of surgery and early outcome of patients with acutely obstructed colorectal cancers. The secondary aims were to compare right- and left-sided obstruction and to identify factors predicting morbidity and mortality in these patients.


A retrospective review of all patients who underwent operative intervention for acute obstruction from colorectal malignancy from February 2003 to April 2008 was performed. Patients were identified from the hospital’s operating records based on postoperative diagnosis codes of colorectal malignancy. The diagnosis of acute obstruction was confirmed through clinical assessment, radiological investigations, and surgical findings. All the complications were graded according to the classification proposed by Clavien and group.


Out of a total of 1,268 patients who underwent surgery for colorectal malignancy, 134 (10.6%) patients with a median age of 71 years (range, 34–97 years) were operated for acute obstruction. Left-sided malignancy accounted for 79.9% of the obstruction, with sigmoid colon being the most common site in 54 (40.3%) patients. A significant proportion (77.6%) of our patients had associated perioperative morbidity, and the mortality rate was 11.9%. Worse complications (grades of complications III to V) were more frequent in patients who had a higher American Society of Anesthesiologists score (3–4), are ≥60 years old, and had preoperative renal impairment. Stoma was created more frequently in left-sided pathology.


In an Asian population, surgery in patients with acute colorectal malignant obstruction is associated with significant morbidity and mortality rates. Though left-sided malignant obstruction occurs more frequently and is associated with a higher incidence of stoma creation, primary resection and anastomosis is a safe option in selected patients.


Intestinal obstruction Colorectal cancers Surgery Treatment outcome 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryTan Tock Seng HospitalSingaporeSingapore

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