Background: Surgeons prefer to close ostomies at least 6 weeks after the primary operation because of the anticipated postoperative abdominal adhesions. Limited data support this habit. Our aim was to evaluate adhesion formation-together with an analysis of resource consumption and costs-in patients with necrotizing enterocolitis who underwent early closure (EC), compared with a group of patients who underwent late closure (LC). Methods: Chart reviews and cost analyses were performed on all patients with necrotizing enterocolitis undergoing ostomy closure from 1997 to 2009. Operative reports were independently scored for adhesions by 2 surgeons. Results: Thirteen patients underwent EC (median, 39 days; range, 32-40), whereas 62 patients underwent LC (median, 94 days; range, 54-150). Adhesion formation in the EC group (10/13 patients, or 77%) was not significantly different (P = 1.000) from the LC group (47/59 patients, or 80%). No differences were found in the costs of hospital stay, surgical interventions, and outpatient clinic visits. Conclusions: Ostomy closure within 6 weeks of the initial procedure was not associated with more adhesions or with changes in direct medical costs. Therefore, after stabilization of the patient, ostomy closure can be considered within 6 weeks during the same admission as the initial laparotomy.

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Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Department of Pediatric Surgery

Struijs, M.-C., Poley, M., Meeussen, C., Madern, G., Tibboel, D., & Keijzer, R. (2012). Late vs early ostomy closure for necrotizing enterocolitis: Analysis of adhesion formation, resource consumption, and costs. Journal of Pediatric Surgery (Vol. 47, pp. 658–664). doi:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2011.10.076