Adhesive small bowel obstruction (ASBO) in children - Role of conservative management

Kumar Vijay, C. Anindya, P. Bhanu, M. Mohan, P. L.N.G. Rao

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Adhesive small bowel obstruction (ASBO) is an annoying postoperative complication. Though the diagnosis can be made easily, the role of conservative management in children is controversial. Hence a study was conducted to determine the role of conservative management, and to identify the factors that can predict / influence the outcome of conservative treatment in children with ASBO. Children admitted with ASBO from 1980 to 2002 (22 year period) formed the material for this study. The data was analyzed with respect to the influence of age at the time of presentation, primary disease for which original laparotomy was done, time interval between the primary surgery and the development of ASBO and the number of laparotomies prior to the development of ASBO on the outcome of conservative management. There were 74 episodes of ASBO in 69 children (Five children had two episodes). Out of 74 episodes, 5 episodes (6.75%) needed immediate laparotomy for suspected gangrene. All others were managed conservatively. Of the 69 episodes managed conservatively, 36 responded to conservative treatment (2-5 days) while 33 required subsequent surgical intervention, with 11 of them requiring bowel resection (two for gangrene and 9 for bowel damage during adhesiolysis) and in the rest 22 cases adhesiolysis. A substantial number of children with ASBO respond well to conservative treatment. Majority of the children developed ASBO within three months after the primary laparotomy. Children below the age of one year (at the time of presentation with ASBO) responded poorly to the conservative management. Children who had primary surgery for Hirschsprung's disease and intussusception also appeared to have responded poorly to conservative management, but statistically not significant. Time interval between the primary surgery and the number of laparotomies before the child developed ASBO did not influence the outcome of conservative management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-84
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Malaysia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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