Reduction in Adhesive Small-Bowel Obstruction by Seprafilm® Adhesion Barrier After Intestinal Resection

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Although Seprafilm® has been demonstrated to reduce adhesion formation, it is not known whether its usage would translate into a reduction in adhesive small-bowel obstruction.


This was a prospective, randomized, multicenter, multinational, single-blind, controlled study. This report focuses on those patients who underwent intestinal resection (n = 1,701). Before closure of the abdomen, patients were randomized to receive Seprafilm® or no treatment. Seprafilm® was applied to adhesiogenic tissues throughout the abdomen. The incidence and type of bowel obstruction was compared between the two groups. Time to first adhesive small-bowel obstruction was compared during the course of the study by using survival analysis methods. The mean follow-up time for the occurrence of adhesive small-bowel obstruction was 3.5 years.


There was no difference between the treatment and control group in overall rate of bowel obstruction. The incidence of adhesive small-bowel obstruction requiring reoperation was significantly lower for Seprafilm® patients compared with no-treatment patients: 1.8vs. 3.4 percent (P< 0.05). This finding represents an absolute reduction in adhesive small-bowel obstruction requiring reoperation of 1.6 percent and a relative reduction of 47 percent. In addition, a stepwise multivariate analysis indicated that the use of Seprafilm® was the only predictive factor for reducing adhesive small-bowel obstruction requiring reoperation. In both groups, 50 percent of first adhesive small-bowel obstruction episodes occurred within 6 months after the initial surgery with nearly 30 percent occurring within the first 30 days. Additionally no first adhesive small-bowel obstruction events were reported in Years 4 and 5 of follow-up.


The overall bowel obstruction rate was unchanged; however, adhesive small-bowel obstruction requiring reoperation was significantly reduced by the use of Seprafilm®, which was the only factor that predicted this outcome.

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