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October 17, 1980

Emergency Laparotomy Immediately After Coronary Bypass

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine. Dr Max is now with the Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Milwaukee.

JAMA. 1980;244(16):1829-1831. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310160045026

Eight patients required emergency laparotomy in the immediate postoperative period after coronary artery bypass (CAB). Cardiac complications were few and minor. Sepsis was the major cause of mortality. In the two patients who died, delay in operative management contributed to their deaths. The lack of cardiac causes of morbidity and mortality in our series and others suggests that a stable postoperative coronary bypass patient represents a better surgical risk than the same patient preoperatively. Therefore, aggressive management, including early laparotomy, for suspected intra-abdominal pathology after CAB is recommended to avoid uncontrollable sepsis and death.

(JAMA 244:1829-1831, 1980)