JOURNAL ARTICLE

Acute small bowel obstruction as a result of a Meckel's diverticulum encircling the terminal ileum: A case report

Avnesh S Thakor, Siong S Liau, Dermot C O'riordan
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2007, 1: 8
17411459

BACKGROUND: In the developed world, small bowel obstruction accounts for 20% of all acute surgical admissions. The aetiology for majority of these cases includes postoperative adhesions and herniae. However, a relatively uncommon cause is a Meckel's diverticulum. Although this diagnosis is primarily reported in the adolescent population, it should also be considered in adults.

CASE PRESENTATION: In the present report, we present a rare case where a fit and healthy 74-year-old gentleman, with no previous history of abdominal surgery, presented with the cardinal symptoms and signs of small bowel obstruction as the result of a Meckel's diverticulum encircling his terminal ileum. Initial investigations included a supine abdominal x-ray showing dilated loops of small bowel and computerised tomographic imaging of the abdomen, which revealed a stricture in the terminal ileum of unknown aetiology. At laparotomy, multiple loops of distended small bowel were seen from the duodeno-jeujenal junction to the terminal ileum, which was encircled by a Meckel's diverticulum. The Meckel's diverticulum was then divided to release the obstruction, mobilised and subsequently removed. Finally, the small bowel contents were decompressed into the stomach and the nasogastric tube aspirated, before returning the loops of bowel into the abdomen in sequence. The patient made a good postoperative recovery and was discharged home 5 days later.

CONCLUSION: This report highlights the importance of considering a Meckel's diverticulum as a cause of small bowel obstruction in individuals from all age groups and especially in a person with no previous abdominal pathology or surgery.

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