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01.02.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2016

European Surgery 1/2016

Small bowel emergencies: two surgical centers’ experience and literature review

European Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2016
M.D, Ph.D Dr. Panagiotis Paliogiannis, Leonardo Delogu, Giovanni Contu, Antonio Luigi Cambilargiu, Antonio Mundula, Giovanni Sotgiu, Carlo Biddau, Federico Attene, Mario Trignano, Fabrizio Scognamillo



Small bowel surgical emergencies are potentially life-threatening conditions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of small bowel surgical emergencies to identify proper options for their management.


We retrospectively investigated 54 consecutive patients who underwent emergency surgery for small bowel disease. All clinical, surgical, and pathological data were collected from clinical records and referrals.


Intraperitoneal adhesions were the main cause of small bowel obstruction, followed by abdominal wall defects (primitive and incisional hernias), phytobezoars, internal hernias, and neoplasias. The most frequent surgical procedure performed was adhesiolisis, followed by small bowel resections and correction of abdominal wall defects.


In-depth knowledge of the diseases which cause small intestine emergencies is crucial for emergency surgeons, given the absence of specific clinical, laboratory or radiological features, that makes the diagnosis and the decision to perform surgery challenging.

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