RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Reinforced tension line suture closure after midline laparotomy in emergency surgery.

Tropical Doctor 2011 October
Midline laparotomy is an emergency surgical operation frequently performed in cases of intra-abdominal pathology. Closure of the incision is usually done by continuous suturing by mass closure. In an emergency operation the intra-abdominal milieu is usually contaminated leading to gut oedema and, hence, an increase in postoperative intra-abdominal pressure. It is complicated by wound dehiscence, burst abdomen, etc. The cause of this complication is an increase in horizontal tensile forces on the site of the insertion of sutures which cuts the sheath. In this technique of reinforced tension line suture peak tensile forces are distributed from the suture base to the surrounding tissue through a horizontal suture, thereby preventing the suture from cutting through the tissue. From July 2007 to June 2009 patients requiring laparotomy were randomly divided into test and control groups by a 'closed envelope' technique. Their postoperative intra-abdominal pressure was recorded by urinary bladder catheter manometry. The result of this technique was compared with the incidence of burst abdomen in cases where it was closed by continuous suture. A total of 190 patients underwent laparotomy. In 90 the abdomen was closed by reinforced tension line (RTL) and in 100 patients by continuous suturing. None of the RTL group had a burst abdomen. Thirteen who had closure by continuous suture had a burst abdomen. The analysis of the results was done using the chi-square test. On comparing the incidence of burst abdomen in cases operated by continuous suture technique and by RTL, the P value was found to be 0.0026 which is highly significant. On analysis of the incidence of burst abdomen in cases having a grade II intra-abdominal pressure the P value was found to be 0.0009 which is highly significant. Closure of midline incision by RTL reduces the incidence of burst abdomen. Registration No. PROVCTRI/2008/091/000269 (http://www.ctri.in).

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