SMALL INTESTINAL OBSTRUCTION FROM PERITONEAL ADHESIONS IN CHILDREN

*Chirdan LB, Uba AF, Igoche MI, Soo CT, Osagie OO.
Paediatric Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Jos University Teaching Hospital, PMB 2076, Jos, Nigeria. E-Mail: lohfab@yahoo.com

*Correspondence.

Conflict of Interest: None
Grant Support: None

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence of peritoneal adhesions leading to small intestinal obstruction after laparotomy in children in a tertiary paediatric surgical centre.

Methods: A retrospective review of 430 children aged <15 years who had trans-abdominal procedures over a 7 year period.

Results: Four hundred and fifty nine abdominal procedures were performed in 430 children during the study period. The follow up period ranged from 4 months 7 years (Median 33 months). 22 (4.8%) had intra-operative confirmation of small intestinal obstruction. Their ages ranged from 21 days 14 years (median 7 years). Postoperative adhesions due to laparotomy for typhoid perforation were the commonest, occurring in 10 (45%). Children undergoing emergency laparotomy were more likely to develop post operative small intestinal obstruction compared to elective laparotomy (p<0.025). Six (27.3%) children had bowel gangrene at laparotomy requiring bowel resection and anastomosis. Post-operative small intestinal obstruction developed in 6 (27.3%). One child died due to sepsis from intestinal gangrene. Conclusion: Small bowel obstruction due to adhesions requiring operative intervention in children in our setting is not un-common. Bowel gangrene is a common complication of postoperative small intestinal obstruction in children in our setting and should be suspected to avoid serious postoperative mortality and morbidity.

Key words: Adhesions, intestinal obstruction, children

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