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Pediatr Surg Int. 2008 Jul;24(7):767-71. doi: 10.1007/s00383-008-2153-5. Epub 2008 May 22.

Non-operative management of gastroschisis: a case-matched study.

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  • 1Division of General Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5G 1X8.


Non-operative management of gastroschisis also known as plastic closure (PC) has been described as an alternative to conventional primary operative closure (POC) or staged silo closure (SSC). The aim of this study was to compare these techniques in neonates with gastroschisis. A retrospective review of neonates with gastroschisis who underwent PC was undertaken. The minimum follow-up was 1 year. Premature neonates (<35 weeks) and those with intestinal atresia or multiple congenital anomalies were excluded. Frequency matching of PC cases with two control groups with either POC or SSC was performed on 1:1 ratio, based on gestational age and birth weight. Statistical analysis using univariate analysis was performed. Three groups were assembled: PC, POC and SSC (n = 33). Median follow-up was 1,198 days. Groups were comparable with regard to: time to first feed, time to full enteral feeding, frequency of vascular access related infections, ventilation time, NICU LOS (length of stay) and hospital LOS. There was no difference observed in surgical complications. Almost all neonates in the PC group developed an umbilical hernia (83.8%). Umbilical hernias were highly associated with PC compared to the other two groups P = 0.001. To date only one patient has had to have an operative repair of the umbilical hernia in the PC group. Plastic closure is safe and comparable to conventional closure techniques. However, PC is associated with the development of more umbilical hernias. The natural history of these hernias remains to be defined.

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