Acute small bowel obstruction: one-year retrospective study of admissions to inner city Royal Perth Hospital

Alessandro Cengarle, Dieter G. Weber, Adnan G. Taib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Analyse admissions to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) with acute small bowel obstruction (SBO), and identify trends between outcomes and management. Methods: Retrospective, single-centre review of patients admitted to RPH with acute SBO, between May 2017 and May 2018. Results: A total of 251 admissions met inclusion criteria. Increasing age correlated with increasing total length of stay (LOS) (r = 0.134, P = 0.033) and post-operative LOS (r = 0.349, P < 0.0001). Increasing age led to poorer outcomes (P < 0.0001). Diagnoses were most commonly adhesions (167/251 = 66.5%), hernias (47/251 = 18.7%) and inflammatory bowel diseases (11/251 = 4.4%). Operation rate for adhesional SBO was 24.6% (41/167) and non-adhesional SBO 54.8% (46/84). Median total LOS for operative versus conservative management was 9 days (interquartile range (IQR) 8) versus 3 days (IQR 3) (P < 0.0001). Median time to surgery was 1 day (IQR 2). Increased time from admission to theatre led to increasing post-operative LOS (r = 0.398, P = 0.0013). Median post-operative LOS for bowel resection versus no resection was 9 days (IQR 4.5) versus 6 days (IQR 4) (P = 0.0128). Of 101, 81 (80.2%) adhesional SBO resolved non-operatively after receiving Gastrografin, compared to 45 of 66 (68.2%) of those who did not (P = 0.07). It did not significantly alter total or post-operative LOS (P = 0.65 and P = 0.96), patient outcome (P = 0.26), or need for bowel resection (P = 0.63). Conclusions: Operative management, bowel resection, older age and increasing time from admission to surgery increase LOS. Trial of Gastrografin in non-operative management of adhesion type small bowel obstructions does not significantly affect outcomes but tends to reduce operative rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1693
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


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