Mom's third small bowel obstruction after hysterectomy

From: John (
Tue Sep 7 09:25:35 1999

My 73 year old mother went back to the hospital this weekend with the same unpleasant symptoms of small bowel obstruction (SBO) ... bloating, vomiting and intestinal pain. She had a hysterectomy (due to uterine cancer) about five years ago and the first SBO occurred about a year ago. They put a tube down her nose to draw off the fluids and hope that the obstruction would clear itself. When it didn't, and xrays confirmed it was getting worse, she went in for surgery. The surgeon opened her up, saw the adhesion, snipped it and closed her in a quick operation that nevertheless was hard on mom. The second SBO occured this spring , but this time the surgeon did a thorough job of clearing out any adhesions or potential adhesions that he saw. Unfortunately, four months later, the xrays show another blockage and, if it doesn't improve with the nose tube (NG tube), there may be another surgery. These surgeries have been hard on my mom, and she worries that she hasn't built up her strength enough after the last surgery to handle another one.

It sounds like each surgery is irritating her intestines enough to set the stage for the next adhesion. Is there any way to break out of this vicious circle? I've read that adhesion can sometimes be caused by a reaction to the talc on the outside of surgical gloves. I've read about adhesions being more common when the peritoneum isn't sutured (not sure what this means). And I've read about the new barriers such as suprafilm (but don't know if these are available in Canada). I've also been reading about diet and wonder if mom should be on a low-fibre, low-residue diet (which if I understand it, means no fruits, vegatables or whole grains).

Any advice would be appreciated.


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