Proximal intestinal stomas established by the exteriorization of leaking anastomosis in the presence of peritonitis can be used to reinfuse succus entericus and provide adequate enteral nutrition.
Retrospective analysis of prospectively gathered data from a cohort of consecutive patients admitted between January 1993 and December 1999 for postoperative peritonitis requiring laparotomy and the construction of one or more small-bowel stomas.
Tertiary referral center with a surgical intensive care unit experienced in the treatment of intra-abdominal sepsis and succus entericus reinfusion.
Twenty-one consecutive patients with postoperative peritonitis originating from a jejunal or ileal leak. We excluded patients with established enterocutaneous fistulae, abscesses amenable to percutaneous drainage or other conservative treatments, and postoperative peritonitis caused by ileocolic or ileorectal anastomosis.
Early laparotomy with exteriorization of small-bowel leak(s), and continuous enteral nutrition (CEN) and succus entericus reinfusion (SER) via the distal portion of the stoma until gastrointestinal continuity was restored.
Main Outcome Measures
Feasibility of CEN and SER with temporary, diverting small-bowel stomas and their associated postoperative morbidity and mortality rates.
One patient died, and 14 experienced complications. For technical reasons, CEN and SER were discontinued early on in 7 patients. The mean duration of CEN and SER was 58 days and 61 days, respectively. Enteral feedings allowed the suppression of central venous access after a median of 28 days, with 82 days as a median time to restoration of intestinal continuity.
Although the exteriorization of small-bowel leaks with CEN and SER is generally feasible and effective in the treatment of critically ill patients with peritonitis secondary to small-bowel leaks, it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, in part relating to patients' underlying diseases.