Partial small bowel obstruction and ileus following gynecologic laparoscopy

Magdy P. Milad*, Julian C. Escobar, William Sanders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Study objective: To assess the incidence and management of partial small bowel obstruction (PSBO) and ileus after gynecologic endoscopy. Design: Internet-based cross-sectional survey (Canadian Task Force classification II-3). Material and methods: An online survey was distributed to gynecologic surgeons to collect information about frequency and management of ileus and PSBO after gynecologic laparoscopy. Measurements and main results: Of the 58 physician respondents, 22 had managed at least 1 patient with PSBO or ileus after gynecologic laparoscopy. A total of 12 PSBOs and 14 patients experiencing ileus were identified for an overall incidence of 0.036%. Patients showed symptoms between 1 and 20 days postoperatively and had findings ranging from hypoactive (45%), to normal (30%), to hyperactive (25%) bowel sounds. Plain film radiographs (75%) were the most commonly used diagnostic modality followed by computed tomography (CT) scans of the abdomen. Most patients were initially managed with intestinal rest and nasogastric tube placement for 2 to 16 days. Fifty percent required a second procedure, with reported findings that included intestinal herniation (n = 7), bowel injury (n = 4), volvulus (n = 2), and urinoma (n = 1). Conclusion: Ileus and PSBO are rare findings after gynecologic laparoscopy. We identified 26 cases, most of which were initially managed conservatively. The majority of patients ultimately required a second operation. Surgeons should have a high index of suspicion when managing a patient with PSBO or ileus after gynecologic laparoscopy. Given the findings from the second procedures, CT scans would seem to be the diagnostic procedure of choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-67
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Gynecologic laparoscopy
  • Ileus
  • Partial small bowel obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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