A study carried out by the National Taiwan University Hospital and the National Taiwan University, College of Medicine in Taipei, determined that patients with partial bowel obstruction may improve with oral intake of laxatives, acidophilus, and simethicone.
According to some specialists, patients with partial adhesive small-bowel obstruction are usually managed conservatively, receiving intravenous hydration and nothing by mouth. “Previous studies have suggested that this approach is associated with longer hospital stays and an increased risk of delayed surgery”, as reports Shyr-Chyr Chen, MD, from National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University College of Medicine in Taipei, and colleagues.
From 144 consecutive patients with adhesive partial small-bowel obstruction that was admitted between February 2000 and July 2001, 128 met the inclusion criteria and were randomized to either the intervention group -IV hydration, nasogastric (NG)-tube decompression, and oral therapy with magnesium oxide, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and simethicone- or to the control group (IV hydration, NG-tube decompression, and nothing by mouth).
Most of the patients were men, whose age was 54.4 ± 15.9 years in the control group and 53.9 ± 16.3 years in the intervention group. A 91 per cent of patients in the intervention group and 76 per cent of patients in the control group had successful treatment without surgery.
“Oral therapy with magnesium oxide, L. acidophilus and simethicone was effective in hastening the resolution of conservatively treated partial adhesive small-bowel obstruction and shortening the hospital stay,” the authors write. “Further trials with larger patient samples are needed to verify the value of oral therapy for partial adhesive small-bowel obstructions observed in this study”, the experts report.