Bowel Obstruction in the First Month of Life

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Pediatric Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Anbar, Anbar, Iraq


Background: The aim of this study was to analyze the etiology, symptom frequency, management, and surgical outcome of gastrointestinal obstruction in the first month of life.
Methods: A total of 72 neonates with gastrointestinal obstruction were reviewed over a period of 16 months.
Results: The male to female ratio was 2.4:1. In this study, 75% of the neonates were presented in the first 7 days of life. The mean gestational age was 39.25 weeks. In addition, 68 of the neonates were term babies. The most common cause of admission was anorectal malformation (22%); furthermore, small bowel atresia was observed in 15% of the cases. Vomiting was the most common symptom of gastrointestinal obstruction reported in 31% of the cases, followed by abdominal distension. In this study, the overall mortality after surgery was 17%. The significant determining cause of mortality was sepsis reported in 33% of the cases.
Conclusion: Early referral, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal obstruction in neonates are needed to improve the survival outcome. The most common cause of neonatal gastrointestinal obstruction was found to be imperforate anus.


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