The Role of Palliative Surgery in the Management of Acute Intestinal Obstruction Secondary to Peritoneal Carcinomatosis

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The Role of Palliative Surgery in the Management of Acute Intestinal Obstruction Secondary to Peritoneal Carcinomatosis

Bharath Kumar Bhat, Amitabh Yadav, Samiran Nundy
Original article, no. 2, 2024
Article DOI: 10.21614/chirurgia.2024.v.119.i.2.p.218
Introduction: Acute intestinal obstruction secondary to extensive peritoneal carcinomatosis is an end stage event. The role of palliative surgery in these patients is debatable in view of the anticipated severe complications and its doubtful role in achieving adequate palliation. The primary objective of our study was to evaluate the feasibility and ability of patients to resume oral nutrition after palliative surgery for acute intestinal obstruction due to peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Patients and Methods: It is an observational study in which we retrospectively reviewed the data from a prospectively maintained clinical database of 40 patients. The predefined pre- and intraoperative variables were obtained. The immediate outcome variables like postoperative complications, length of hospital stay, and mortality were analyzed. The short-term outcomes at 3 months in the form of survival, ability to resume enteral nutrition were analyzed.

Results: Among the 40 patients 18 were males and 22 females. Ovarian cancer was the most common primary (27.5%) in the study. Twelve patients had acute intestinal obstruction as their first presentation without any past events and 25 (62.5%) patients had been operated on previously or received adjuvant systemic treatment. The palliative surgical option was technically feasible in 37 (93.5%) patients. The median length of hospitalization for the patients who were discharged was 10 days with a range of 6-18 days. Six (15%) patients died in the postoperative period. Severe post-operative complications were seen in 9 (26.4%) patients. Among the patients (n=34) discharged 26 (76.4%) were alive at 3 months. In those who were alive, 21 (80.7%) of them were on some form of oral nutrition at 3 months.

Conclusion: Palliative surgery in patients with acute intestinal obstruction secondary to peritoneal carcinomatosis is feasible with acceptable morbidity and mortality. The enteral nutrition can be restored in the majority of these patients.

Keywords: peritoneal metastasis, peritoneal carcinomatosis, palliative surgery, acute malignant intestinal obstruction