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October 8, 1973

Bowel Obstruction From Drainage Tubes

Author Affiliations

Mt. Vernon, Ill

JAMA. 1973;226(2):200. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230020046025

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To the Editor.—  A 72-year-old man was seen in consultation because of small-bowel obstruction. An ileal conduit urinary diversion had been performed one week prior to the consultation. At the time of consultation a temporary gastrostomy was still present and two large Hemovac tubings were seen extending from the lower part of the surgical incision through which the ileal conduit was performed, draining the pelvic portion of the peritoneum.After ruling out volvulus or vascular catastrophe in the form of mesenteric artery thrombosis, we had no choice but to pull out the Hemovac tubings on the tenth postoperative day, with immediate relief of the small-bowel obstruction. Copious diarrheic stools followed within a few hours of removal of the tubing. My impression from witnessing the dramatic results at the time of removal of the tubings was that the tubing had probably compressed one of the small loops of the bowel, causing