Modified Opsite® sandwich for temporary abdominal closure: a non-traumatic experience

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INTRODUCTIONLaparostomy techniques have advanced since the advent of damage control surgery for the critically injured patient. Numerous methods of temporary abdominal closure (TAC) are described in the literature with most reports focusing on trauma. We describe a modified technique for TAC and report its use in a series of critically ill non-trauma patients.PATIENTS AND METHODSEleven patients under the care of one consultant underwent TAC over a 36-month period. A standardised technique was used in all cases and this is described. Severity of illness at the time of the first laparotomy was assessed using the Portsmouth variant of the Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the enumeration of Mortality and morbidity (P-POSSUM).RESULTSNineteen TACs were performed in 11 patients with a variety of serious surgical conditions. In-hospital mortality was zero despite seven of the patients having an individual P-POSSUM predicted mortality in excess of 50%. The laparostomy dressing proved simple in construction, facilitated nursing care and was well-tolerated in the critical care environment. All patients underwent definitive fascial closure during the index admission.CONCLUSIONSLaparostomy is a useful technique outwith the context of trauma. We have demonstrated the utility of the modified Opsite€ sandwich vacuum pack for TAC in a series of critically ill patients with a universally favourable outcome. This small study suggests that selective use of TAC may reduce surgical mortality.

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