Lower Small-Bowel Obstruction Risk With Laparoscopy

Laparoscopic procedures associated with at least a four-fold lower incidence of small-bowel obstruction

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Laparoscopic surgical procedures are associated with a lower incidence of small-bowel obstruction (SBO) compared with open surgery, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.

To investigate the incidence and risk factors for SBO after certain surgical procedures, Eva Angenete, M.D., Ph.D., of the Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra in Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues used data from 108,141 patients in the Inpatient Register held by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Data were used to identify episodes of hospital stay and surgery for SBO within five years of abdominal or pelvic surgery for common surgical and gynecological conditions, performed from 2002 through 2004.

The researchers found that SBO incidence ranged from 0.4 to 13.9 percent, depending on the type of surgical operation. Although a variety of risk factors were identified, including patient age, previous surgery, comorbidities, and surgical technique, laparoscopy was associated with the lowest risk of SBO compared with most of the surgical procedures.

"This study shows that, beyond important factors such as age, previous abdominal surgery, and comorbidity, the surgical technique is the most important factor related to SBO," the authors write. "Compared with laparoscopic surgery, open surgery seems to increase the risk of SBO at least four times."

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