Small bowel obstruction: A practical step-by-step evidence-based approach to evaluation, decision making, and management. journal of trauma and acute care surgery Azagury, D., Liu, R. C., Morgan, A., Spain, D. A. 2015; 79 (4): 661-668


The initial goal of evaluating a patient with SBO is to immediately identify strangulation and need for urgent operative intervention, concurrent with rapid resuscitation. This relies on a combination of traditional clinical signs and CT findings. In patients without signs of strangulation, a protocol for administration of Gastrografin immediately in the emergency department efficiently sorts patients into those who will resolve their obstructions and those who will fail nonoperative management.Furthermore, because of the unique ability of Gastrografin to draw water into the bowel lumen, it expedites resolution of partial obstructions, shortening time to removal of nasogastric tube liberalization of diet, and discharge from the hospital. Implementation of such a protocol is a complex, multidisciplinary, and time-consuming endeavor. As such, we cannot over emphasize the importance of clear, open communication with everyone involved.If surgical management is warranted, we encourage an initial laparoscopic approach with open access. Even if this results in immediate conversion to laparotomy after assessment of the intra-abdominal status, we encourage this approach with a goal of 30% conversion rate or higher. This will attest that patients will have been given the highest likelihood of a successful laparoscopic LOA.

View details for DOI 10.1097/TA.0000000000000824

View details for PubMedID 26402543