INTEREST urgent abdominal procedures of infancy has greatly increased in the past 20 years. This report deals with 53 consecutive infants having acute intestinal obstruction and presents some observations on their management.
Included in this series are five different groups of conditions producing or resulting in acute intestinal obstruction (Table 1). These are are in order of frequency intussusception, duodenal obstruction, small bowel obstruction from multiple causes, incarcerated or irreducible inguinal hernia, and imperforate anus. Pyloric obstruction, whether due to a hypertrophic pyloric muscle or to the more infrequent causes, has been excluded from this discussion.
Twelve cases of duodenal obstruction were observed that necessitated 13 operative procedures (Table 2). The primary symptom was vomiting since birth, intermittent in type and usually projectile in character. In the majority of instances the vomitus contained bile. Peristaltic waves were visible across the upper abdomen in 10 of the 12 cases.