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Laparoscopic adhesiolysis for small bowel obstruction.

BACKGROUND: Historically, laparotomy and open adhesiolysis have been the treatment for patients requiring surgery for small bowel obstruction. Laparoscopic adhesiolysis has not gained wide acceptance. The indications and outcomes of laparoscopic adhesiolysis for small bowel obstruction are not well established. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on laparoscopic adhesiolysis for small bowel obstruction and to discuss patient selection, surgical technique, and outcomes.

DATA SOURCES: Medline search from 1980 to 2002.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic adhesiolysis has been shown to be safe and feasible in experienced hands. For selected patients, laparoscopic adhesiolysis offers the advantages of decreased length of stay, faster return to full activity, and decreased morbidity. Patient selection and surgical judgment appear to be the most important factors for a successful outcome.

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