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Intestinal obstruction in patients with advanced ovarian cancer
  1. J. M.J. BAIS,
  3. J. F.M. SLORS* and
  4. F. B. LAMMES
  1. Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and *Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  1. Address for correspondence: Dr M. S. Schilthuis, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


A retrospective analysis of the management of intestinal obstruction in 31 patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma is described. Between 1981 and 1992 31 patients developed intestinal obstruction after their initial treatment. Nineteen patients underwent surgery, while the remaining 12 were treated conservatively. Careful evaluation with contrast studies of both the small intestine and colon is recommended to improve the prediction of site(s) of obstruction, and may reduce the number of unsuccessful operative procedures. Fifteen of the surgically treated patients survived for a period of 60 days or more. The majority, 13, were discharged to their homes after an average hospital stay of 24 days. Major postoperative complications occurred in three of the 19 patients. There was no surgical-related mortality. Two patients died within 30 days postoperatively (urosepsis and advanced tumor). While the median survival in the 19 surgical treated patients was 109 days (range 15–775), the conservatively treated 12 patients survived for a mean of 37 days (range 6–260). Surgical management of intestinal obstruction in selected cases is feasible and improves quality of life substantially.

  • intestinal obstruction
  • ovarian cancer
  • palliative surgery

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