Bowel Obstruction

Never let the sun rise or set on a complete bowel obstruction - Old Surgical Dictum

Bowel Obstruction

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The truth about Small Bowel Obstruction

Small bowel obstruction (SBO) is a very common problem for patients; treated by many different types of medical providers, including primary care, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and surgery. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 300,000 laparotomies performed annually for SBO, and about one third of these obstructions are complicated by intestinal ischemia, with significantly higher morbidity and mortality resulting.

So every patient who shows up with a bowel obstruction should have surgery, to prevent ischemic complications, right? Actually, more than half of patients who present with SBO resolve with nonoperative therapy. Because the most common…

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Last Updated : Friday, March 26, 2021