Background: Patients with early postoperative small bowel obstruction (SBO) are usually managed nonoperatively with nasogastric suction, intravenous fluids, and observation. The majority of early postoperative SBO resolve without an operation. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients who had been diagnosed with postlaparoscopic SBO at three Chicago area teaching hospitals. Results: The patients were initially managed nonoperatively for up to 7 days. However, all of them subsequently required an operation. In every case, the postlaparoscopic SBO was caused by the small bowel being incarcerated in a peritoneal defect created either by trocar placement or peritoneal incision for herniorrhaphy. Conclusion: In contradistinction to the approach used for early SBO after laparotomy, prompt operative intervention for postlaparoscopic SBO is recommended.
- Postoperative small bowel obstruction
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