What is the most common cause of small-bowel obstruction (SBO)?

Updated: Apr 28, 2017
  • Author: Mityanand Ramnarine, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Answer

The most common cause of small-bowel obstruction (SBO) in developed countries is intra-abdominal adhesions, accounting for approximately 65% to 75% of cases. [1] Postoperative adhesions can be the cause of acute obstruction within 4 weeks of surgery or of chronic obstruction decades later. The incidence of SBO parallels the increasing number of laparotomies performed in developing countries.


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