Shawana Asad, Hafizullah Khan, Ishtiaq Ali Khan, Sher Ali, Salma Ghaffar, Zia ur Rehman


Background: Intestinal obstruction occurs when the normal flow of intestinal contents is
interrupted. The most frequent causes of intestinal obstruction are postoperative adhesions and
hernias, which cause extrinsic compression of the intestine. Less frequently, tumours or strictures of
the bowel can cause intrinsic blockage. Objective of the study was to find out the various aetiological
factors of mechanical intestinal obstruction and to evaluate the morbidity and mortality in adult
patients presenting to Surgical ‘A’ unit of Ayub teaching hospital with mechanical intestinal
obstruction. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from March 2009 to September,
2009. All patients presenting with intestinal obstruction and were above the age of 12 years were
included in the study. Patients with non-mechanical obstruction were excluded from the study and
those who responded to conservative measures were also excluded. Results: A total of 36 patients
with age ranging from 12 to 80 years (Mean age 37.72±19.74 years) and male to female ratio of
1.77:1, were treated for mechanical intestinal obstruction. The most common cause for mechanical
intestinal obstruction was adhesions (36.1%). Intestinal tuberculosis was the second most common
cause (19.4%), while hernias and sigmoid volvulus affected 13.9% patients each. Malignancies were
found in 5.6% cases. Conclusion: Adhesions and Tuberculosis are the leading causes of mechanical
intestinal obstruction in Pakistan. Although some patients can be treated conservatively, a substantial
portion requires immediate surgical intervention.
Keywords: Intestine, Mechanical (Dynamic), Intestinal obstruction.

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