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Surg Endosc. 2005 Apr;19(4):501-4. Epub 2005 Feb 3.

Laparoscopic-assisted jejunostomy: an effective procedure for the treatment of neurologically impaired children with feeding problems and gastroesophageal reflux.

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Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Piazza degli Artisti 7/c, 80129 Naples, Italy.



Feeding difficulties and gastroesophageal reflux (GER) are major problems in severely neurologically impaired children. Many patients are managed with a simple gastrostomy, with or without fundoplication. Unfortunately, fundoplication and gastrostomy are not devoid of complications, indicating the need for other options in the management of these patients.


Since January 2002, seven patients (age range, 5-14 years) have been treated by creating a jejunostomy with the laparoscopic-assisted procedure. The procedure was performed using two 10-mm trocars. The technique consists of identifying the first jejunal loop, grasping it 20-30 cm away from the Treitz ligament with fenestrated atraumatic forceps, and exteriorizing it to the trocar orifice under visual guide. The jejunostomy was created outside the abdominal cavity during open surgery. At the end of the jejunostomy, the correct positions of the intestinal loop and feeding tube were evaluated via laparoscopy.


Surgery lasted 40 min on average, the laparoscopic portion only 5 min. There were no perioperative complications; hospital stay was 3 or 4 days for all patients. At the longest follow-up (18 months), all patients had experienced a significant weight gain, with a high level of parental satisfaction. One patient died 1 year after the procedure of unknown causes. All the others are well, without complications or problems, and their parents are extremely satisfied with the improved quality of life of their children.


Laparoscopic-assisted jejunostomy is a safe and effective procedure to adopt in neurologically impaired children with feeding problems and GER. This procedure solves these patients' feeding problems even if the reflux is not completely eliminated. We advocate the use of this procedure in neurologically impaired patients with feeding problems and reflux due to its overall practicability and because there is minimal surgical trauma. This technique is extremely safe because the surgeon is able to verify, at the end of procedure, the status of the jejunostomy from outside and inside the abdominal cavity. The improvement in the quality of life of these children after the jejunostomy seems to be the major advantage of this procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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