Laparoscopic Management for Small Bowel Obstruction: Experience From a UK District General Hospital With One-Year Follow-Up

Bhavani Mothe, Usman Khan, Chris Smart


Background: Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is a common surgical emergency usually treated via standard laparotomy. But with the advancement of laparoscopic surgical skills, more surgeons are undertaking laparoscopic approach as well to treat uncomplicated SBO. We aimed to compare outcomes following laparoscopic vs. open surgical techniques in a district general hospital.

Methods: A retrospective review of case notes of patients who underwent operative surgical treatment for SBO between January 2012 and July 2018 was carried out. Mann-Whitney U test was used for nominal data and Chi-square test for categorical data analysis.

Results: A total of 99 surgical procedures were carried out for SBO during this period at our district general hospital with 31 laparoscopic and 68 open procedures. Fifteen out of 31 were completed laparoscopically (totally laparoscopic approach (TLA)), while 16/31 were converted to open procedure (laparoscopic-assisted group (LAG)) to complete the operation. Median age for open group was 69 years (26 - 91 years) vs. 71 years (23 - 94 years) for laparoscopic group. Median length of stay was 10 vs. 6.5 days for single band adhesions treated laparoscopically (P = 0.02). Median Charlson comorbidity index was 6 vs. 5 (TLA). Eight out of 31 in laparoscopic group had complications, whereas 27/68 in open group (P = 0.26). The 30-day mortality was 5/68 for open vs. none for laparoscopy group. The 1-year follow-up for all patients confirmed 7/68 in open vs. 1/31 laparoscopic group mortalities.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic surgical approach for SBO seems to have statistically significant lower small bowel resection rate and length of stay in this hospital when compared to laparotomy in selected patients.

J Curr Surg. 2021;11(1):1-7


Adhesions; Bowel obstruction; Small intestine; Laparoscopy; Length of stay

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