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June 1959

Acute Intestinal Obstruction Secondary to Postoperative Adhesions

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Surgery, New York Medical College-Metropolitan Hospital Medical Center.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(6):952-957. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320060140021

During recent years, some quarters have expressed dissatisfaction with the conservative approach to the treatment of acuteintestinal obstruction secondary to postoperative adhesions. The principal reasons offered for advocating immediate or early surgery, rather than intestinal intubation, are that (1) strangulating obstruction cannot be diagnosed correctly in 100% of cases, and that (2) delay in those cases misdiagnosed carries risks that outweigh advantages gained by conservative decompression, i. e., intestinal intubation with the long tube. Our point of view on the surgical services of the New York Medical College-Metropolitan Hospital Center has been one of moderation. Only a minority of patients with acute adhesive intestinal obstruction have been treated with immediate or early operation without benefit of prior intestinal intubation and decompression; these have been patients suspected of having strangulaing obstruction. At this time it seemed appropriate to evaluate a recent series of cases of acute adhesive intestinal obstruction in order

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