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Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2019 May;25(3):268-280. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2019.44834.

Etiology, management, and survival of acute mechanical bowel obstruction: Five-year results of a training and research hospital in Turkey.

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Department of General Surgery, Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul-Turkey.



Acute mechanical bowel obstruction (AMBO) is still a major surgical problem for emergency departments. The aim of this study was to evaluate AMBO in terms of etiology, management, and survival.


Data of the age, sex, etiology, management, and survival of patients who were hospitalized for bowel obstruction between January 2014 and December 2018 were evaluated retrospectively. Adhesions, tumors, hernias and peritoneal carcinomatosis were evaluated in detail.


A total of 735 patients were included in the study. The obstruction was located in the small bowel (AMSBO) in 60% and in the large bowel (AMLBO) in 40%. The mean patient age was 59.9+-16.02 years and 52.9% of the patients were male. Adhesion, tumor, and hernia were the most common etiologies of the overall AMBO group (43.3%, 26.2%, and 6%, respectively). The most common etiology for AMSBO was an adhesion (69.3%), while it was a tumor for AMLBO cases (61.6%). The most common management of AMBO patients was a conservative approach (53.2%; adhesions: 76.7%). Surgical palliation was performed in 24.9% (peritoneal carcinomatosis: 65.7%), and resection was performed in 21.9% (volvulus: 61.9%). The mortality rate in the group was 8.6%. The most common etiology was colorectal surgery (51.4%) for adhesions, colorectal cancer (93.8%) for tumors, and incisional hernia (47.7%) in cases of hernia-related AMBO.


Adhesions, tumors, and hernias are the most common etiologies of AMBO. The incidence of femoral/inguinal hernia have decreased while that of incisional hernia has increased, and it was further observed that peritoneal carcinomatosis has now become as common as hernia as a cause.

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