Low incidence of adhesion-related bowel obstruction after laparoscopic colorectal surgery

Danny Rosin, Oded Zmora, Aviad Hoffman, Marat Khaikin, Barak Bar Zakai, Yaron Munz, Moshe Shabtai, Amram Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Postoperative adhesions are a major cause of morbidity, accounting for approximately 5% of the readmissions of surgical patients. Bowel obstruction is attributed to adhesions in more than half of the cases, many of which are following colon and rectal surgery. Laparoscopic surgery has the potential advantage of reduced adhesion formation owing to attenuated surgical trauma, less tissue handling, and smaller scars. However, the translation of these advantages to a reduced rate of bowel obstruction has not been sufficiently demonstrated. The aim of this study was to assess the rate of adhesion-related bowel obstruction after laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery. Methods: Data regarding all cases of laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery were prospectively collected. Information relative to demographics, surgical procedures, and follow-up was analyzed, and patients who were readmitted for bowel obstruction were identified. Results: Over a period of 8 years, 306 patients, at a mean age of 63 years, had a laparoscopic colon and rectal operation in our department - 122 for benign conditions and 184 for malignant disease. The mean length of follow-up was 38 months. Six cases (2%) of bowel obstruction, which were unrelated to hernia or advanced cancer, were identified. Two patients had a history of open surgery, in addition to the laparoscopic procedure, so adhesions could be attributed solely to the laparoscopic procedure in 4 patients, which consisted of 1.3% of the total study group. Obstruction occurred within 2 weeks of surgery in 2 patients, and one early reoperation was required. Conclusions: The incidence of adhesion ileus after laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery appears to be very low. This long-term benefit of laparoscopic surgery should be considered when comparing this technique to its open counterpart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-607
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques - Part A
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


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