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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


NDLOVU, N et al. A South African central hospital's experience with malignant colorectal obstruction. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2023, vol.61, n.2, pp.47-51. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: The spectrum and outcome of colorectal cancer (CRC) presenting with obstruction is not well studied in low- to middle-income countries (LMIC) and could have implications for health policy. This study aimed to address this deficit in an LMIC setting METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted of patients with large bowel obstruction, during the period 2000-2019 from the prospective Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital (IALCH) CRC registry data. Data analysed included the site of CRC, tumour differentiation, management of patients with obstructive CRC, resection margins post resection, oncological management and reasons for failure to receive oncological therapy. Patient follow-up and recurrence were recorded RESULTS: Malignant obstruction from CRC occurred in 510 patients (20% of the CRC registry). Median age at presentation was 57 years (IQR 48-67). One hundred and seventy-six (34.5%) and 135 (26.5%) had stage III and IV disease respectively. Moderately differentiated cancer was seen in 335 (65.6%). Management was resection (370; 72.5%), diverting colostomy (123; 24.1%) and stent insertion (55; 10.8%). Twenty-one patients (5.7%) had positive resection margins. Recurrence occurred in 34 patients (6.7%), all of whom had initially undergone resection, giving a recurrence rate of 9.8% in those receiving surgery. Median disease-free interval for patients developing recurrence was 21 months (IQR 12-32 CONCLUSION: One in five patients with CRC presented with obstruction. These patients were younger than in high income-country (HIC) series. Over 70% underwent resection. Stomas were used twice as frequently as stents to relieve the obstruction, a finding that is the reverse of that in HICs

Keywords : obstructive colorectal cancer; malignant bowel obstruction; obstruction; colon cancer.

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