Virgin abdomen

Last revised by Yahya Baba on 26 Dec 2020

Virgin abdomen is used to describe the abdomen of a patient who has never had any surgical procedure on their abdomen. It is usually used in the context of someone presenting with an acute small bowel obstruction and whether adhesions might be the underlying etiology.

The conventional wisdom being that without a prior history of intraperitoneal surgery the odds of adhesions being the etiology are lowered. However recently a study has questioned this long-held assumption 1.

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