A clinical study of surgical management of acute intestinal obstruction

Gayathri V., Praveen Mali, Harindranath H. R.


Background: Mechanical bowel obstruction remains one of the most common intra-abdominal problems faced by general surgeons in their practice and continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality.

Methods: This retrospective study was carried out on data obtained from 50 patients who underwent emergency laparotomy for acute intestinal obstruction in Victoria and Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital from January 2016 to December 2016.

Results: Adhesions (26%) were found to be the most common cause followed by obstructed hernia (22%). The common age group was 51-60 years. The commonest symptom was abdominal pain followed by vomiting and constipation. The average duration of presentation was 2 days. Strangulation was found in 20% of cases. Mortality rate in the study was 16%.

Conclusions: In conclusion, we have found that adhesions are becoming an ever-increasing underlying cause of bowel obstruction. A trend of elective hernia surgery has reduced the number of patients of hernias presenting with obstruction of bowel.


Causes of obstruction, Intestinal obstruction, Strangulation

Full Text:



Mann CV. Intestinal Obstruction. In: Charles V. Mann, Russell RCG, eds. Bailey and Loves short practice of surgery. 21st edition. Hongkong Chapman and Hall; 1994:1175.

Zinner MJ, Ashley SW. Small bowel obstruction. Maingot’s abdominal operation. 12th edition. McGraw-Hill Education; 2012:585.

Thampi D, Tukka VN, Bhalki N, Sreekantha, Remya SSA. A clinical study of surgical management of acute intestinal obstruction. Int J Res Health Sci. 2014;2(1):299-308.

Playforth RH, Holloway JB, Griffin WO. Mechanical small bowel obstruction: a plea for early surgical intervention. Ann Surg. 1970;171:783-8.

Adhikari S, Hossein MZ, Das A, Mitra N, Ray U. Etiology and outcome of acute intestinal obstruction: A review of 367 patients in Eastern India. Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2010;16(4):285-7

McEntee G, Pender D, Mulvin D, McCullough M, Naeeder S, Farah S et al. Current spectrum of intestinal obstruction. Br J Surg. 1987;74:976-80.

Miller G, Boman J, Shrier I, Gordon PH. Etiology of small bowel obstruction. Am J Surg. 2000;180(1):33-6.

Foster NM, McGory ML, Zingmond DS, Ko CY. Small bowel obstruction: a population-based appraisal. J Am Coll Surg. 2006;203(2):170-6.

American Cancer Society. Cancer facts and figures. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2009.

Ihedioha U, Alani A, Modak P, Chong P, O'Dwyer PJ. Hernias are the most common cause of strangulation in patients presenting with small bowel obstruction. Hernia. 2006;10:338-40.

Akçakaya A, Alimoğlu O, Hevenk T, Baş G, Sahin M. Mechanical intestinal obstruction caused by abdominal wall hernias. Ulus Travma Derg. 2000;6:260-5.

Kössi J, Salminen P, Laato M. The epidemiology and treatment patterns of postoperative adhesion induced intestinal obstruction in Varsinais-Suomi Hospital District. Scand J Surg. 2004;93:68-72.

Malik AM, Shah M. Pattern of acute intestinal obstruction: is there a change in the underlying etiology. Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2010;16(4):272-4.

Madziga AG, Nuhu AI. Causes and treatment outcome of mechanical bowel obstruction in north eastern Nigeria. West Afr J Med. 2008;27(2):10.

Khan JS, Alam J, Hassan H, Iqbal M. Pattern of intestinal obstruction a hospital based study. Pakistan Armed Forces Med J. 2007;57(4):248-52