Olive Oil and the Treatment of Adhesive Small Bowel Obstruction


Background: Post-operative adhesions are the most common cause of small bowel obstruction. The management of small bowel obstruction is surgical and non-surgical. Some studies are conducted to show the efficacy of non-surgical management of adhesive small bowel obstruction such as sesame oil, water - soluble contrasts such as gastrographin.

Objectives: The current study aimed to evaluate the effect of oral olive oil on the management of adhesive small bowel obstruction.

Methods: All the patients admitted with adhesive bowel obstruction in the hospital affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, from October 2012 to September 2013 that had inclusion criteria were evaluated by general surgeon. The patients were separated into two groups and standard management was done. Then 12 hours after admission, 150 mL olive oil was given by nasogastric (NG) tube to the first group.

Results: The spontaneous resolution time of small bowel obstruction was significantly longer in the control group than the treatment group (59 hours vs. 35 hours). The hospital stay was shorter in the treatment group than the control (three days vs. six days).

Conclusions: The study results demonstrated that olive is an effective and safe adjunct to the conservative management of small bowel obstruction and markedly reduces the time of resolution of symptoms and length of hospital stay.