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Table 1 Overview of known and unknown facts concerning small bowel obstruction in elderly patients

From: Small bowel obstruction in the elderly: a plea for comprehensive acute geriatric care

What this paper adds
 • Adhesive small bowel obstruction (SBO) accounts for the largest group of SBO. Malignant small bowel obstruction, gall stone ileus and hernia incarceration are more prevalent in elderly patients
 • Symptom presentation is otypical in elderly patients
 • CT scan is highly sensitive and specific, and unenhanced CT is a safe method for diagnostics
 • Frail elderly patients have more morbidity, mortality and functional decline
 • A comprehensive geriatric approach, including patients’ preference is preferable.
 • Applied waiting period to surgery might be too long in older patients with SBO
What is not known?
 • Functional outcomes of elderly patients after SBO
 • Optimal ‘safe’ time to wait for resolution of SBO by conservative therapy
 • Influence of frailty on outcomes in SBO