Laparoscopic salvage of malfunctioning peritoneal catheters

R Amerling, D V Maele, H Spivak, A Y Lo, P White, H Beaton, J Rudick
Surgical Endoscopy 1997, 11 (3): 249-52

BACKGROUND: Malfunction of peritoneal catheters due to mechanical outflow problems is an annoying complication in patients undergoing chronic peritoneal dialysis (PD). Correction often involves catheter replacement or revision via laparotomy.

METHODS: Twenty-five patients undergoing PD who developed mechanical catheter flow restriction underwent 28 laparoscopic procedures. Preoperative diagnoses were made by contrast catheter radiography and were: catheter sequestration (36%), omental wrap (64%). Pneumoperitoneum was induced after general anesthesia and laparoscopy was performed using a Storz laparoscope. The catheter was then identified and manipulation was attempted using instruments placed percutaneously.

RESULTS: In 26 cases (93%), the catheter was freed and function restored. In two cases (7%), adhesions were so numerous and dense that the distal catheter could not be visualized. Four episodes of peritonitis developed subcutaneous leakage of peritoneal fluid which responded to cessation of PD for 2 weeks. Four patients had recurrent occlusions; three of these were managed laparoscopically. Two patients developed late hernias at the site of insertion of the laparoscope. Catheter patency averaged 9.2 months postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic revision is a successful technique for salvage of occluded peritoneal catheters.

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