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August 1983

Surgical Management of Small-Bowel Radiation Enteritis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(8):905-907. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390080013004

• We treated 17 patients with severe small-bowel radiation enteritis surgically. Fourteen patients were female. Gynecologic malignant lesions (cervical, ovarian, and endometrial) were the most frequent sites of the primary tumors for which radiation was given. Thirteen patients had bowel obstruction, and the remainder had enterovaginal fistulae. Intestinal bypass, rather than resection, was the preferred approach in the treatment of these patients, and was used in 11 cases. Successful palliation was provided in nine patients, with minimal morbidity and no operative deaths. Follow-up at eight to 60 months has shown no further sequelae of radiation injury or of blind loop syndrome. This supports the relative safety of intestinal bypass for the surgical management of small-bowel radiation enteritis.

(Arch Surg 1983;118:905-907)