Unresectable malignancy and bowel obstruction in the acute care surgery patient

Zara Cooper, Elizabeth Lilley, Gregory Jurkovich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Patients with incurable cancer who develop malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) represent a challenge for acute care surgeons. Most of these patients have a poor prognosis and limited survival. Surgical management, in carefully selected patients, may increase survival, alleviate symptoms, and reduce reobstruction. However, any procedures in this setting should be recognized as palliative and management decisions for these patients should be guided by the patient’s personal goals for treatment. Diagnostic work-up, including laboratory and radiographic studies and a thorough history and physical exam, will inform the surgeon as to the potential treatment options. Ultimately, determination of the appropriate surgical approach is made intra-operatively. Management of this difficult clinical scenario requires complex decision making and sophisticated clinical judgment, both inside and outside the operating room.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComplications in Acute Care Surgery
Subtitle of host publicationThe Management of Difficult Clinical Scenarios
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319423760
ISBN (Print)9783319423746
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute care surgery
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Intestinal bypass
  • Palliative care
  • Palliative surgery
  • Surgical oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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