Indications for emergency abdominal surgery in Cape Coast, Ghana


  • Ganiyu A. Rahman Department of Surgery, School of Medical Science, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Samuel A. Debrah Department of Surgery, School of Medical Science, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Edwin A. Andoh Department of Surgery, School of Medical Science, University of Cape Coast, Ghana



Emergency abdominal surgery, Ghana, Intestinal obstruction, Typhoid ileal perforation


Background: Emergency abdominal surgery continues to form a major workload of the general surgeon. As a result of variation of causes, there is need to revisit and review the pattern of presentation, management and outcome. There had been previous studies from Korle Bu Teaching hospital and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital both in Ghana, but this is from Cape Coast Teaching Hospital (CCTH), Central Region, Ghana. The objective is to determine the pattern of presentation and indications for surgery in patients who had emergency abdominal surgical operation in CCTH.

Methods: All patients who had emergency abdominal surgical operations at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital from 1st January 2011 to 25th October 2012 were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Four hundred and eleven patients had emergency abdominal operation over a period of 22 months. The mean age at presentation was 36.3 years (SD 19.3). Male to Female ratio was 2.3:1. Intestinal obstruction was the commonest indication for surgery followed by appendicitis and typhoid ileal perforation. Obstructed abdominal wall hernia was the commonest cause of intestinal obstruction.

Conclusions: Early reporting in hospital and access to hernia repair will reduce the morbidity and mortality known to be associated with this condition.


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Original Research Articles