Temporary abdominal closure (TAC) for planned relaparotomy (etappenlavage) in trauma

C Aprahamian, D H Wittmann, J M Bergstein, E J Quebbeman
Journal of Trauma 1990, 30 (6): 719-23
Planned relaparotomy (temporary abdominal closure) was studied prospectively in 20 trauma patients. Four died in the first 24 hours from hypothermia, coagulopathy, shock (three), and septic shock (one). The 16 survivors had a Velcro-like prosthetic placed to facilitate abdominal closure and re-entry. Prosthetic was necessary in eight because bowel edema precluded fascial closure, and useful for removal of packing (three) and for the management of peritonitis (five). The prosthetic did not open spontaneously, nor was it associated with evisceration or bowel fistula. Temporary abdominal closure (TAC) permitted reappraisal and staged repair of intra-abdominal pathology, including bowel resection and anastomosis. TAC identified 14 problems early: bleeding (five), bile leaks (two), GI complications (six), liver necrosis (one). Five patients developed superficial wound infections, and three went on to develop fascial necrosis.

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