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March 1982

Intestinal Intubation in Acute, Mechanical Small-Bowel Obstruction

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

Arch Surg. 1982;117(3):334-336. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1982.01380270052011

• A review of 100 consecutive patients admitted with simple, mechanical small-bowel obstruction secondary to adhesions and treated for at least 24 hours with nonoperative intestinal intubation showed that of 76 patients admitted with partial small-bowel obstruction, 49 (65%) were successfully treated without operation. Of those with complete small-bowel obstruction (CSBO), 18 of 24 (75%) subsequently required surgical intervention; however, six of 24 (25%) were safely treated by nonoperative intubation. The 24-hour delay in surgery for CSBO did not increase morbidity or mortality in the 18 requiring operations. Major indications for surgical intervention were suspected strangulated obstruction or persistent obstruction, which frequently was associated with unsuccessful tube passage. Administration of antibiotics preoperatively was associated with a significant reduction in wound infections in patients requiring resection or enterotomy.

(Arch Surg 1982;117:334-336)