In many cases, the surgical technique is the most important factor when it comes to adhesive small-bowel obstruction, even when taking factors such as age, previous operations and other health conditions into account.
This is shown by a study carried out at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy, which reviewed 108,141 operations carried out in Sweden between 2002 and 2004.
In the study, published in the journal Archives of Surgery, nine different common surgical and gynaecological interventions were examined. The results show that open surgery increases the risk of small-bowel obstructions by up to four times compared with surgery using laparoscopic techniques.
“Previous studies have shown reduced adhesions after laparoscopic surgery, but this is the first time we have been able to show that it reduces the risk of small bowel obstruction,” says Eva Angenete, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy and specialist in surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
The article, “Effect of Laparoscopy on the Risk of Small-Bowel Obstruction: A Population-Based Register Study”, was published in Archives of Surgery in April.
ABOUT THE SAHLGRENSKA STUDY
The study, which was carried out at the Scandinavian Surgical Outcomes Research Group (SSORG) research unit at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, was based on data contained in the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare’s inpatient register regarding care or operations for small-bowel obstructions up to five years after an operation (gall bladder surgery, appendix operations and intestinal operations).
ABOUT SMALL-BOWEL OBSTRUCTIONS
Small-bowel obstruction – is a common cause of emergency admissions, and is caused by an obstruction in the small or large intestine, which can lead to pain, swelling and feelings of sickness and require emergency surgery. One common cause of small-bowel obstruction is abdominal adhesions, caused by surgical trauma to the peritoneum.