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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-4

Changing pattern of adult intestinal obstruction in Nigeria: A narrative review

1 Department of Surgery, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi State, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ibrahim Umar Garzali
Department of Surgery, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njbcs.njbcs_14_20

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Intestinal obstruction is a failure of craniocaudal propagation of intestinal contents and may be due to a mechanical or functional pathology. Acute mechanical intestinal obstruction is one of the leading causes of surgical admissions in most emergency departments worldwide and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, especially when associated with bowel gangrene or perforation. It accounts for 15% of all emergency visits from acute abdominal pain. In Nigeria and most of Africa, external hernias were the main causes of intestinal obstruction throughout the 20th century; however, at the onset of the 21st century, some reports have shown a rising frequency of adhesive obstruction in our environment. We conduct this narrative review to determine if there is a changing pattern of adult intestinal obstruction in Nigeria. Literature search was conducted by two independent reviewers. The keywords used were “adult,” “intestinal obstruction,” “cause,” and “Nigeria.” The keywords were combined using the Boolean logic. The keywords were searched in PubMed and Google Scholar. The overall mean age of the study population is 44.3 years, with a male-to-female ratio of 3.6:1. Of the 1435 cases of intestinal obstruction reported in the studies selected, post-operative adhesive intestinal obstruction was responsible for 590 of them, which is equivalent to 41.1% of all the obstruction. Obstructed external hernias were responsible for 357 cases of obstruction, which is equivalent to 25.9%. The most common cause of intestinal obstruction in Nigeria is post-operative adhesion.

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