Limited Percutaneous Surgical Drainage in Severe Neonatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Low Birth Weight Prematures
Robert Finaly, Zahavi Cohen, Vadim Kapuller, Agneta Golan, Edna Kurtzbart, Abraham Mares
Depts. of Pediatric Surgery and Neonatology, Soroka Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba
The usual treatment of complicated neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is resection of the necrotic bowel, lavage of the peritoneal cavity and diversion enterostomy. Low-birth-weight premature neonates with this condition are in special danger if general anesthesia and full exploratory surgery is contemplated.
A relatively simple alternate procedure is percutaneous insertion under local anesthesia of a soft abdominal drain, most often in the right lower quadrant. The procedure is done in the neonatal intensive care unit without moving the whole set-up to the operating room.
4 such cases have been treated within the past year. 3 were discharged home as they did not require additional surgical treatment, not having developed intestinal stenosis or obstruction. 1 recovered from the acute episode, but succumbed to a severe intraventricular hemorrhage and respiratory failure 7 days after the procedure.
Our limited but most gratifying experience, in addition to similar experience of others, encourages us to recommend this simple surgical approach in the very sick low-birth-weight premature with fulminant NEC.