The effectiveness of operative and non-operative management for postoperative adhesive ileus in children has been discussed. This study reviews the clinical characteristics and the treatment consequences of adhesive ileus in our institution, Department of Surgery of Chunbuk National University Hospital, retrospectively. A total of 62 cases of post-operative small bowel obstruction treated between January 1975 and December 1998 under the 15 years of age are included in this study. The patients were divided into two groups, operative (n=26) and non-operative (n=36) groups. The prevalent age was between 11 and 15 years (28 cases; 45.2%), and the most common previous operation was appendectomy (28 cases; 45.2%). The most common operative procedures were adhesiolysis (17 cases; 65.4%). The interval between admission and operation was 1 day in 11 cases (42.3%). The most common site of adhesion was the ileum in 13 cases (50.0%) and band constriction was the most frequent pattern (8 cases; 30.8%). Intestinal resection was significantly high in delayed operations of more than four days, in the patients with three or more classical signs of strangulation (fever, tachycardia, leukocytosis, abdominal pain, rebound tenderness), and in the cases of complete obstruction on plain abdomen film (p < 0.05). In conclusion, operation should be considered in cases with three or more signs of strangulation, no clinical improvement for over four days of conservative treatment, and signs of complete obstruction on plain abdomen film during the observation periods.