JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Incidence of small-bowel obstruction and adhesiolysis after open colorectal and general surgery.

PURPOSE: The study contained herein was undertaken to establish the incidence of small-bowel obstruction, adhesiolysis for obstruction, and additional abdominal surgery after open colorectal and general surgery.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed using patient-specific Health Care Financing Administration data to evaluate a random 5 percent sample of all Medicare patients who underwent surgery in 1993. Of these, 18,912 patients had an index abdominal procedure. Two-year follow-up data documented outcomes of hospitalizations with obstruction, adhesiolysis for obstruction, and/or additional open colorectal or general surgery.

RESULTS: Within two years of incision, excision, and anastomosis of intestine (International Classification of Dis eases (ICD)-9 code 45), 14.3 percent of patients had obstructions, 2.6 percent required adhesiolysis for obstructions, and 12.9 percent underwent additional open colorectal or general surgery. After other operations of intestine (ICD code 46), 17 percent of patients had obstructions, 3.1 percent required adhesiolysis for obstructions, and 20.2 percent underwent additional open colorectal or general surgery. After operations of rectum, rectosigmoid, and perirectal tissue (ICD code 48), 15.3 percent of patients had obstructions, 5.1 percent required adhesiolysis for obstructions, and 16.4 percent underwent additional open colorectal or general surgery. After other operations on the abdominal region (ICD code 54), 12.4 percent of patients had obstructions, 2.3 percent required adhesiolysis for obstructions, and 8.8 percent underwent additional open colorectal or general surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: In this retrospective study of Medicare patients, we learned that bowel obstruction, adhesiolysis for obstructions, and additional abdominal surgery occurred more often after abdominal surgery than was previously published.

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