n South African Journal of Surgery - Spectrum of causes of intestinal obstruction in adult Nigerian patients : general surgery




<I>Objective.</I> To present changes in the cause of intestinal obstruction in an African setting. <br><I>Design.</I> Consecutive cases of acute intestinal obstruction from 1985 to 1994. <br><I>Setting.</I> Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. <br><I>Subjects.</I> Adult patients with clinical and radiological evidence of intestinal obstruction. <br><I>Results.</I> There were 99 patients (60 males) aged 15 - 101 years (mean age 45 years). The majority of patients were young and middle-aged adults. Main causes of obstruction included adhesion (N = 44), volvulus (N =15), external hernias (N = 11), colorectal carcinoma (N = 10) and intussusception (N = 8). Approximately twothirds of patients (28/44) with adhesion had had previous abdominal operations. The overall mortality was 14%, mainly owing to strangulation obstruction and colonic malignancy. <br><I>Conclusions.</I> The increasing role of adhesions as a cause of acute intestinal obstruction demands greater need for routine preventive measures against adhesion formation.


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