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J Pediatr Surg. 2007 May;42(5):823-8.

Comparative study between window and conventional enterostomies in preterm neonates with small bowel perforations.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.



Small bowel perforations in the neonatal period can be secondary to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), ischemic necrosis, or occlusive anomalies of the small bowel; furthermore, they may be of no discernible cause. Depending on the clinical condition of the infant and the extent of the disease, a number of surgical options are available; one of which is exteriorization. To reduce the morbidity of stoma among patients, we adopted a technique called window enterostomy (WEnt). The objectives of this study were to describe the technique and to compare WEnt with conventional enterostomy (CEnt) in preterm infants undergoing surgery for focal NEC or isolated small bowel perforation (ISBP).


We reviewed all cases of NEC and ISBP between January 1996 and March 2006 from our institution. Patients with focal NEC or ISBP who required a surgical intervention were included and categorized into the WEnt and the CEnt groups. We collected multiple data as study variables: demographics; site of perforation; operative time; need for a second operation; postoperative morbidity; duration of total parenteral nutrition; and postoperative weight gain.


Twenty-four neonates met the criteria for study inclusion. Of these, 14 underwent CEnt and 10 underwent WEnt. The median gestational age and birth weight of the neonates were 25.4 weeks (SD = 1.4) and 814.4 g (SD = 195.1), respectively. In comparing the 2 groups, we found statistically significant differences in the operative time for the primary and secondary procedures, duration of total parenteral nutrition, time to full oral feeding, and weekly postoperative weight gain. The rate of postoperative complications was higher among the infants from the CEnt group.


Our results suggest that WEnt is a quick and workable technique with minimal morbidity for preterm neonates with focal NEC or ISBP.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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