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Small bowel obstruction after colon resection for benign and malignant diseases

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Diseases of the Colon & Rectum


To determine the etiology and outcome of patients with small bowel obstruction after a colon resection for benign and malignant diseases, the medical records of 118 patients who underwent 120 laparotomies for small bowel obstruction were reviewed. Contrary to previous reports, benign adhesions were responsible for the obstruction in all patients with a history of benign colon disease, 82.6 percent of patients with a history of adenocarcinoma of the colon without known recurrence, and 30.1 percent of patients with known recurrent malignancy. The morbidity and mortality was more related to the etiology of the obstruction rather than the preoperative delay or operative procedure performed. Considering the high likelihood of adhesive obstruction in patients with a history of, or known, metastatic colorectal carcinoma, it is suggested that these not deter surgeons from aggressive early surgical intervention in these patients who develop small bowel obstruction.

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Ellis, C.N., Boggs, H.W., Slagle, G.W. et al. Small bowel obstruction after colon resection for benign and malignant diseases. Dis Colon Rectum 34, 367–371 (1991).

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