Home | About Us | Current Issue | Ahead of print | Archives | Search | Instructions | Subscription | Feedback | Editorial Board | e-Alerts | Login 
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
 Users Online:754 
  Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

Table of Contents   
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-22

Postoperative adhesive intestinal obstruction: The role of intestinal stenting

Department of Paediatric Surgery, G. Kuppusami Naidu Memorial Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication22-Dec-2011

Correspondence Address:
Ravikumar Ramanathan Valkodai
Department of Paediatric Surgery, G. Kuppusami Naidu Memorial Hospital, Coimbatore - 641 037, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9261.91081

Rights and Permissions



Aim: Six children with adhesive obstruction in the postoperative period were treated with stenting the small bowel with long intestinal tube. Materials and Methods : In two children the stenting was done through jejunostomy, and in the other four through the base of appendix. Results: During a follow-up period of 2-14 years, there had been no recurrence. Conclusions: Use of an intraluminal tube stent in preventing recurrent small bowel obstruction due to adhesions is safe and effective when used on appropriately selected patients.

Keywords: Intestinal obstruction, intestinal stenting, postoperative adhesive obstruction, recurrent small bowel obstruction

How to cite this article:
Valkodai RR, Gurusami R, Duraisami V. Postoperative adhesive intestinal obstruction: The role of intestinal stenting. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2012;17:20-2

How to cite this URL:
Valkodai RR, Gurusami R, Duraisami V. Postoperative adhesive intestinal obstruction: The role of intestinal stenting. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Oct 2];17:20-2. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2012/17/1/20/91081

   Introduction Top

When peritoneal cavity is opened, in whatever type of surgery, bowel obstruction may develop due to bands or adhesions. Minimal adhesions resolve with conservative management. Laparoscopy may help if the obstruction is due to localized adhesions or bands. However, gross distension with dense adhesions will need laparotomy for correction. The release of such adhesions results in serosal injury to the bowel and is a potential threat for re-adhesion and obstruction. Use of intraluminal tube stenting of the bowel after release of adhesions precludes recurrent small bowel obstructions. We have used the above procedure in six children, with satisfactory outcome.

   Materials and Methods Top

Over a period of 14 years, six children needed intraluminal stenting of the bowel to prevent recurrent obstruction. Four of these children needed two surgeries in the immediate postoperative period. In two other children who developed adhesive obstruction in the postoperative period, release of dense adhesions resulted in raw areas in peritoneum and the bowel, and stenting of the bowel was done to prevent re-adhesion. Of the six children, three were following surgery for Hirschsprung's disease, while the other three were due to intestinal duplication, Meckel's diverticulum and meconium ileus.

In the absence of the availability of pediatric size Baker's [1] type of tube which has a bulb distally for easy passage across the bowel, we used two 10F Ryle's tubes of 100 cm each, stitched together and guided through a jejunostomy in two children. The tubes were stitched with 2/0 silk twice and tested to see that it does not break before passing across the bowel. There had been no breakage in the series. In four other children, the tubes were guided upward through the base of the appendix after appendicectomy to the jejunum. In children with gross distension of bowel, a 10F Ryle's tube with side holes was inserted through a purse string in upper jejunum and the bowel was decompressed by suction, and then the second tube was stitched to the first and guided toward the cecum. Similar procedure was done when the tubes were guided from the base of the appendix after appendicectomy. The stenting through the base of the appendix after appendicectomy and subsequent fixation of the tube through right iliac fossa results in natural lie of the bowel. The spillage of the small bowel contents from the dilated gut is prevented. The four children in whom the above method was done went home without any problem.

The bowel is returned in anatomical way; the adhesions which are certain to recur are thereby fixed with the bowel in a non-obstructing position. The child can be fed orally after 3-4 days when the bowel function returns to normal. The tubes were kept for 10 days and then removed. Stenting through jejunostomy was preferred when there was gross distension of proximal bowel for easy decompression and the base of the appendix in the rest [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Intestinal stenting through the base of appendix. Two 100 cm Ryle's tubes joined together and passed from the base of appendix to jejunum

Click here to view

   Results Top

[Table 1] summarizes the case histories and outcome.
Table 1: Summary of case profiles and outcome

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Postoperative intraperitoneal adhesions, or bands, resulting from any type of abdominal surgery are the main cause of adhesive postoperative small bowel obstructions, which represent a lifelong issue. After successful relief of obstruction in dense and extensive adhesions, there is no proven method to prevent formation of further adhesions postoperatively, and a small number of patients are plagued by recurrent obstruction. The need for repeated laparotomy in such patients can pose great technical difficulties for the surgeon.

Various methods of prevention of recurrence of adhesive obstructions were tried in adult patients earlier. Plication of the small intestine is often performed in situations suggesting an increased risk of subsequent adhesive obstruction. This can be accomplished by the external suture methods of Noble [2] and modified technique of transmesenteric plication described by Childs and Phillips. [3] The major objections to Noble's plication are the duration of the operation and the incidence of postoperative complications. Hyaluronate carboxymethylcellulose preparations have been shown to reduce the extent of adhesions in pediatric patients. [4] However, in adult patients, several other studies have shown that the use of hyaluronate carboxymethylcellulose agents is associated with a significantly higher incidence of intra-abdominal abscesses and anastomotic leaks. [5]

A variant of the plication method involves intraluminal intestinal intubation. Again, accepting that adhesions will form, intestinal intubation relies on the intrinsic stiffness of the intraluminal tube to permit adhesion formation in a favorable position and to avoid kinking of the bowel whilst adhesions form. The tube is later removed. [6]

Intraluminal stenting of the small bowel after adhesiolysis was originally described by White in 1956 [7] as a possible way to maintain small bowel patency while fresh adhesions form, thereby reducing the risk of subsequent adhesional obstruction. It was popularized by Baker who introduced a long intestinal tube with a Foley's type of bulb distally to facilitate smooth introduction of the tube through jejunostomy. He emphasised on the need to decompress the distended bowel thoroughly at the time of surgical release of the obstructing adhesion. [1]

Complications associated with the jejunal route of stent insertion are infection or prolonged drainage from the jejunostomy site following tube removal, or obstruction at the jejunostomy site and intussusception. [8],[9],[10]

Of the six cases who had intestinal tubing, four children had recurrent adhesive obstruction in the immediate postoperative period. In two children, the adhesions were so dense in the first instance and the intestinal stenting was done to prevent further small bowel obstruction. Technically it would be easy to pass the tube across the bowel if there is a Foley type of bulb in the tube, and in its absence, Ryle's tube was used in our cases. In the above series, there had been no complication at the tube site or in its removal though there is a report that the tube got kinked and there was difficulty in its extraction. [8]

The spillover of the intestinal contents, with its attendant complication of intra-abdominal abscess or wound infection in grossly distended bowel is prevented during jejunostomy or the retrograde passage of tube by passing initially a 10F Ryle's tube with multiple holes and the bowel is decompressed by suction and the second tube attached to it later. Baker [1] returned the bowel with the tube in situ in an orderly manner simulating a plication and wrote that he has only incomplete evidence in some cases that the orderly intestinal pattern is permanently maintained. We returned the bowel into abdomen in the anatomical way as the return of bowel in the plicated manner in small children was technically difficult. However, in the follow-up, there had been no recurrence.

   Conclusions Top

Intestinal intubation in the treatment of patients with recurrent adhesive small bowel obstruction has been documented in adult patients. But there are very few reports of its use in children. The present study, though with a small number of patients, shows its utility in preventing recurrent small bowel obstruction where initial surgery has produced adhesive obstruction. It is unlikely to be of use in the treatment of localized adhesions or situations where formation of generalized adhesions is uncommon.

   References Top

1.Baker JW. Stitch less plication for recurring obstruction of the small bowel. Am J Surg 1968;116:316-24.   Back to cited text no. 1
2.Noble TB. Plication of small intestine as prophylaxis against adhesions. Am Surg 1937;35:41-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Childs WA, Phillips RB. Experience with intestinal plication and a proposed modification. Ann Surg 1960;152:258-65.   Back to cited text no. 3
4. Winfield RD, Ang DN, Chen MK, Kays DW, Langham MR Jr, Beierle EA. The use of Seprafilm in pediatric surgical patients. Am Surg 2007;73:792-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Zeng Q, Yu Z, You J, Zhang Q. Efficacy and safety of Seprafilm for preventing postoperative abdominal adhesion: Systematic review and meta-analysis. World J Surg 2007;31:2125-31.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Fazel MZ, Jamieson RW, Watson CJ. Long-term follow-up of the use of the jones' intestinal tube in adhesive small bowel obstruction. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2009;91:50-4.   Back to cited text no. 6
7.White RR. Prevention of recurrent small bowel obstruction due to adhesions. Ann Surg 1956;143:714-9.   Back to cited text no. 7
8.Weigelt JA, Snyder WH, Norman JL. Complications and results of 160 Baker tube plications. Am J Surg 1980;140:810-5.   Back to cited text no. 8
9.Chlimindris CP, Stonesiffer GL. Complications associated with Baker tube gastrostomy. Am Surg 1978;44:707.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Watson CJ, Everett WG. Intussusception complicating the use of a Jones tube. J R Coll Surg Edinb 1990;35:110.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Paediatric adhesive bowel obstruction: a systematic review
Alexander T. M. Nguyen, Andrew J. A. Holland
Pediatric Surgery International. 2021; 37(6): 755
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Comparative short-term and long-term outcomes between internal and external intestinal plication in the management of small bowel obstruction
Song Liu, Qiongyuan Hu, Lihua Shao, Xiaofeng Lu, Xiaofei Shen, Shichao Ai, Ping Zeng, Meng Wang, Wenxian Guan
BMC Surgery. 2021; 21(1)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Print this article  Email this article


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Article in PDF (204 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Materials and Me...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded247    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal

Contact us | Sitemap | Advertise | What's New | Copyright and Disclaimer | Privacy Notice

  2005 - Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow 

Online since 1st May '05