Surgery-associated complications in necrotizing enterocolitis: A multiinstitutional study

Walter J. Chwals, Martin L. Blakely, Allen Cheng, Holly L. Neville, Tom Jaksic, Charles S. Cox, Kevin P. Lally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate the wound and stomal complication rate associated with surgical intervention in infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Methods: Comprehensive demographic and perioperative data were collected prospectively from 4 separate university hospitals on 51 infants with surgically treated NEC. The postoperative complication rate included wound (infection, dehiscence) and stomal (prolapse, retraction, necrosis, stricture) problems. For analysis, patients were grouped based on gestational age less than 28 weeks (group I, n = 30) and ≥28 weeks (group II, n = 21). Z-score analysis was used for intergroup evaluation. Results: Significantly more infants in group I (21 of 30 [70%] versus group II, 6 of 21 [29%]; P < .001) were treated initially with Penrose drainage alone, but most eventually underwent laparotomy (group I, 28 of 30 [93%] versus group II, 19 of 21 [91%]; P value, not significant). The combined stomal/wound complication rate was significantly higher in group I (14 of 30 [47%]) versus group II (6 of 21 [29%]; P < .025). Of 51 patients, one operation was required in 23 (45%), 2 in 18 (35%), 3 in 8 (16%), and 4 in 2 (4%). Conclusions: Although the stomal/wound complication rate was significantly higher in group I, both groups had very substantial complication rates, emphasizing the vulnerability of this infant population. Parents, especially of very premature babies, should be advised that multiple operations are likely and that complications should be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1722-1724
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Volume36
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Peritoneal drainage
  • Postoperative complications
  • Very low birth weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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