Drainage After Elective Hepatic Resection A Randomized Trial

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Abstract

Objective

This prospective randomized study determined the influence of closed-suction drainage on the incidence of postoperative complications after elective hepatic resection.

Summary Background Data

Routine drainage is no longer advocated after several intra-abdominal surgical procedures.

Methods

A series of 81 patients who underwent elective hepatic resection were randomly allocated to either a nondrainage group (n = 39) and a drainage group with closed-suction drainage (n = 42). Indications for resection were 42 benign lesions and 39 malignant tumors, including 19 with cirrhosis. Major hepatic resection was performed in 25 patients and minor resection, in 56. All patients underwent ultrasonography with puncture for bacteriologic cultures of all fluid collections within the first 5 postoperative days.

Results

One patient died in each group. Ultrasonography found a significantly higher rate of subphrenic collections in the drainage group compared with the nondrainage group (respectively, 36% vs. 15%, p < 0.05). These collections were more frequently infected in the drainage group (n = 6) than in the nondrainage group (n = 2). After major liver resection, the rate of intra-abdominal postoperative complications (i.e., subphrenic fluid collections, hematomas, and bilomas) was similar between the two groups.

Conclusion

Minor liver resection is safer without drainage. Major liver resection can be performed with or without abdominal drainage.

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