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Short Bowel Syndrome after Laparoscopic Procedures

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Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a potential postoperative complication after intra-abdominal procedures. Whether the laparoscopic approach is as likely to result in SBS or the causative mechanisms are similar to open procedures is unknown. Our aim was to evaluate potential mechanisms of SBS after laparoscopic procedures. The records of 175 adult patients developing SBS as a postoperative complication were reviewed. One hundred forty-seven patients had open procedures and 28 laparoscopic. Colectomy (39%), hysterectomy (11%), and appendectomy (11%) were the most common open procedures. SBS followed laparoscopic gastric bypass (46%) and cholecystectomy (32%) most frequently. The mechanisms of SBS were different: adhesive obstruction (57 vs 22%, P < 0.05) was more common in the open group, whereas volvulus (18 vs 46%, P < 0.05) was more common after laparoscopy. Overall, ischemia (25 vs 32%) was similar but significantly more laparoscopic patients had postoperative hypoperfusion (32 vs 67%, P < 0.05). Eleven of the 13 laparoscopic bariatric procedures had internal hernias and volvulus. Of the nine patients undergoing cholecystectomy, four developed ischemia early postoperatively presumably secondary to pneumoperitoneum. SBS is an increasingly recognized complication of laparoscopic procedures. The mechanisms of intestinal injury differ from open procedures with a higher incidence of volvulus and more frequent ischemia from hypoperfusion.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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