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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2016, Article ID 1034929, 4 pages
Case Report

Large Bowel Obstruction, a Delayed Complication of Severe Gallstone Pancreatitis

1Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK
2Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, India

Received 21 July 2016; Accepted 11 October 2016

Academic Editor: Mehrdad Nikfarjam

Copyright © 2016 Neeraj Lal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Colonic complications are rare after acute pancreatitis but are associated with a high mortality. Possible complications include mechanical obstruction, ischaemic necrosis, haemorrhage, and fistula. We report a case of large bowel obstruction in a 31-year-old postpartum female, secondary to severe gallstone pancreatitis. The patient required emergency laparotomy and segmental bowel resection, as well as cholecystectomy. Presentation of obstruction occurs during the acute episode or can be delayed for several weeks. The most common site is the splenic flexure owing to its proximity to the pancreas. Initial management may be conservative, stenting, or surgical. CT is an acceptable baseline investigation in all cases of new onset bowel obstruction. Although bowel obstruction is a rare complication of pancreatitis, clinicians should be aware of it due to its high mortality. Obstruction can occur after a significant delay following the resolution of pancreatitis. Those patients with evidence of colonic involvement on pancreatic imaging warrant further large bowel evaluation. Bowel resection may be required electively or acutely. Colonic stenting has an increasing role in the management of large bowel obstruction but is a modality of treatment that needs further evaluation in this setting.