Treatment of uncomplicated meconium ileus via T-tube ileostomy

F J Harberg, E K Senekjian, W J Pokorny
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 1981, 16 (1): 61-3
There are many treatment modalities for uncomplicated meconium ileus. However, for neonates with intestinal obstruction unrelieved by nonoperative measures we advocate T-tube ileostomy with postoperative irrigation of the intestine utilizing pancreatic enzyme. Our series includes 11 infants with uncomplicated meconium ileus who underwent T-tube ileostomy 24--96 hr after birth. Of the 7 females and 4 males only 2 infants failed to pass meconium. One infant required reexploration for persistent obstruction and 1 infant, the only death encountered, had overwhelming pulmonary infection and intracranial hemorrhage. The remaining 9 infants passed meconium between the 1st and 11th postop days. The T-tube was removed by pulling it out between the 10th and the 14th postop day with the T-tube tract closing spontaneously in all patients. Our experience with T-tube ileostomy suggests that resection of dilated but viable ileum is not necessary for prompt intestinal function in the neonate. With the use of pancreatic enzyme irrigation, the tenacious meconium in these patients can be rapidly liquified and expelled per rectum or T-tube and the necessity of mechanical removal during the operative procedure avoided.

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