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Pediatr Surg Int. 2006 Apr;22(4):326-9. Epub 2006 Mar 4.

Long-term complications following intestinal malrotation and the Ladd's procedure: a 15 year review.

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Department of Paediatric Surgery, Women's and Children's Hospital, 72 King William Road, Adelaide, SA, Australia.



It is accepted that children with volvulus require urgent surgery. However the long term sequelae and late complications of its surgical therapy are less well understood. We hypothesised that the surgical corrected intestinal malrotation have significant long term impact on the patients quality of life.


Forty-six children with intestinal malrotation were operated on at a tertiary referral centre over a fifteen year period. Their charts were retrospectively reviewed and the patients were contacted.


The study revealed two distinct groups, those without complications 25 (54%) and those without 21 (46%). In the acute post operative period four (9%) patients had on going feeding difficulties and one (2%) developed chronic abdominal pain. However 12 (26%) required readmission within the first six months after the initial operation. Eleven (24%) patients were readmitted with acute bowel obstruction. Six (13%) patients required multiple admissions due to small bowel obstruction and six (13%) patients underwent further surgery for adhesion related obstruction. There were four (9%) deaths in the study group, three due to other medical conditions and one following small bowel obstruction. There was zero mortality immediately after the primary operation. There was no significant difference in the initial presentation, age and operative findings in those requiring further surgery and those who did not.


We demonstrated that there is a significant long-term morbidity associated with intestinal malrotation even after corrective surgery. Detailed education about the potential for small bowel obstruction must be given to the parents of these children.

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