Past and current surgical treatment of giant omphalocele: Outcome of a questionnaire sent to authors
Purpose: Operative treatment of giant omphalocele (OC) is still a challenge for pediatric surgeons. We were interested to ascertain whether published operative techniques for giant OC once advocated by their authors were still being used by these authors and whether the techniques had been modified or even abandoned for other techniques. Methods: Relevant studies concerning the treatment of giant OC were identified by an electronic search. Publication date of the articles was from 1967 to 2009. A questionnaire was sent to the first author or coauthor, unless contact details were unavailable. The described surgical techniques were categorized into primary closure, staged closure, and delayed closure. Results: Almost half of the authors (42%), independent of the initial technique used (primary, staged, or delayed closure), changed or stopped using their technique after the publication of the article. The change was not to one particular proven better technique. Herniation rate was lower in delayed closure (9% delayed vs 18% staged vs 58% primary). Conclusions: The results of the questionnaire did not show a generally accepted method of treatment after more than 30 years of innovations in managing patients with a giant OC. There are generally 2 main treatment modalities: staged closure and delayed closure. Because of the lack of large patient numbers and late follow-up, long-term results of the published techniques are needed, and randomized multicenter trials based on these outcomes are recommended. Until then, we remain dependent on expert opinions.