What is the role of surgery in the treatment of heroin toxicity?

Updated: Dec 16, 2018
  • Author: Rania Habal, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

Surgery is indicated for body packers with bowel obstruction or bowel perforation. Surgery is also indicated in patients with ruptured packets resulting in life-threatening symptoms not responding to naloxone infusions or when the ruptured packets contain cocaine and other life-threatening drugs. Unruptured heroin packages that remain in the stomach for longer than 48 hours without obstruction may be managed expectantly.


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