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February 1988

Treatment of Severe Intra-abdominal Sepsis and/or Necrotic Foci by an 'Open-Abdomen' Approach: Zipper and Zipper-Mesh Techniques

Author Affiliations

From the Servicio Cirurgia General III, Hospital Provincial, Madrid.

Arch Surg. 1988;123(2):152-156. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400260032002

• Undrained necrotic tissue or septic foci contribute to continued "activation" of host processes that in turn lead to multiple organ failure and death. We hypothesized that if wideopen drainage of the abdominal cavity is provided, thus not allowing intra-abdominal collections to form, mortality in these patients can be reduced. Since 1982 we have treated 49 patients with necrotic pancreatitis and related infections and 15 patients with severe intra-abdominal sepsis from intestinal perforations. The surgical treatment was based on the provision for daily laparotomies in the intensive care unit with the patient under epidural anesthesia by using an "open-abdomen" technique (zipper alone or a zipper-mesh combination). The APACHE II score and the functional classification were used to derive expected mortalities. The patients with intraabdominal sepsis had a mean APACHE II score of 25 and an expected mortality of 45%, vs the 26.5% mortality that we observed. The lowest mortality in the necrotic pancreatitis group was associated with noninfected pancreatic necrosis (6%) and single abscess (9%) vs 22% mortality rate in the patients with infected pancreatic necrosis. The mean expected mortality in this group was 47%, vs the observed 22%. We attributed this result to the daily abdominal explorations that achieved a complete excision of infected or necrotic tissue.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:152-156)

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