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Am Surg. 2015 Oct;81(10):1028-33.

Adhesive Small Bowel Obstruction in the United States: Has Laparoscopy Made an Impact?

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Department of Surgery, University of California, Irvine, Orange, California, USA.


Adhesions account for 74 per cent of admissions for small bowel obstruction (SBO). There is a lack of data regarding the usage and outcomes of laparoscopy (LS) for SBO. A retrospective review of urgent admissions for SBO using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample 2001 to 2011 was conducted. Among the estimated 3,948,987 SBO admissions, 36.7 per cent underwent operative management and LS was performed in 26.5 per cent with a 22.5 per cent conversion rate. Admissions increased by 3.1 per cent annually, whereas nonoperative management increased by 3.8 per cent annually. Operative management increased by 1.8 per cent annually, whereas LS increased by 8.9 per cent annually and open surgery decreased by 0.6 per cent annually. LS small bowel resection increased by a mean of 25 per cent annually. LS was associated with a 24.4 per cent in-hospital morbidity with intra-abdominal abscess/enteric fistulas (8.3%) and ileus (8.9%) as the most common complications. In-hospital mortality was 0.9 per cent with length of stay of 13 ± 9 days and a hospital charge of $80,080 ± 6,634. The majority of patients were operated on hospital day (HD) 1 (43.0%). Patients who underwent LS on HD >7 had a higher risk-adjusted mortality compared with earlier HD (odds ratio = 2.63; 95% confidence interval: 2.40-2.89; P < 0.01). There has been an increase in admissions for SBO and an increase in LS over the past 11 years. There seems to be an increase in mortality and morbidity with a later HD operation.

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