Operative Management and Outcomes of Patients with Sigmoid Volvulus at a Tertiary Public Hospital in Malawi

  • Ephraim Bitilinyu-Bangoh
  • Fatsani Mwale
  • Loveness Ulunji Chawinga
  • Gift Mulima
Keywords: sigmoid volvulus, resection and primary anastomosis, Hartmann's procedure, mesosigmoidopexy.


Background: Sigmoid Volvulus (SV) is a common cause of acute bowel obstruction in Malawi. We aimed to  describe the surgical  management of SV and its outcomes at Kamuzu Central Hospital, Lilongwe, Malawi.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed records from January 2019 to December 2019 of all SV patients, aged 18 years and above. Data  extracted included age, sex, admission date, surgery date, bowel viability at time of surgery, procedure done, suspected anastomotic leakage, length of hospital stay and mortality. The data was analyzed using STATA 14.0.

Results: There were more males (n= 59, 81.9 %) than females. The median (IQR) age was 50.5 (38-60) years. A viable sigmoid colon was present in 61 (84.7%) patients. The commonest procedures done were sigmoid  resection and primary anastomosis (RPA) (59.7%, n=43) and Hartmann’s procedure (HP) (36.1%, n=26). The median length of hospital stay was 5 days in HP, 7 days in RPA and longest in  mesosigmoidopexy (10 days). Suspected anastomotic leakage occurred in 2(4.7%) patients. The overall mortality was 6.9% with all deaths occurring in RPA patients.

Conclusion: Mortality is high in SV patients who undergo RPA. We recommend Hartmann’s procedure in cases where the bowel has  significant oedema or is gangrenous.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2523-0816
print ISSN: 1999-9674