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Surgical management and prognosis of perforation secondary to typhoid fever.

INTRODUCTION: Enteric perforation is a serious complication of typhoid fever and the condition has a high morbidity and mortality in many developing countries including India. No consensus exists concerning the best procedure to be performed in these cases.

AIM: Aim: The purpose of this study was to analyse our clinical experience in surgical management of enteric perforation and to determine the prognostic factors associated with morbidity and mortality.

METHODS: It was a prospective study of patients who underwent surgery for typhoid intestinal perforation at SMS Medical College and Hospital, Jaipur, India, between April 2012 and October 2013. Laparotomy was performed by a midline incision. Management of perforation was based on the intraoperative findings and the procedure to be performed was decided by the operating surgeon.

RESULTS: 88 patients were studied with a male to female ratio of 6.3:1. The mean age was 36.4 years. The peak incidence was between 21 to 30 years. All the patients presented with abdominal pain and distension. More than 90% patients showed free gas under diaphragm. 71% patients had a single perforation and 97% patients had perforations confined to ileum. Debridement with double layered closure was performed in about 58% patients, ileostomy in 25% and resection anastomosis in 18% of patients. Overall complication rate was 44.3% with surgical site infection being the most common morbidity. The mortality rate was 17.1% which was significantly affected by perforation-admission interval of more than 48 hours, number of perforations and occurrence of postoperative complications.

CONCLUSION: Typhoid fever leading to development of intestinal perforation continues to be a significant health problem with a high morbidity and mortality especially in rural India. The management of the disease requires an early and appropriate surgical intervention.

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