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The success of damage-control surgery (DCS) for the treatment of trauma has led to its use in other surgical problems such as abdominal sepsis. Previous studies using direct peritoneal resuscitation (DPR) for the treatment of trauma have yielded promising results. We present the results of the application of this technique to patients experiencing abdominal sepsis.We enrolled 88 DCS patients during a 5 year-period (January 2008 to December 2012) into a propensity-matched study to evaluate the utility of using DPR in addition to standard resuscitation. DPR consisted of peritoneal lavage with 2.5% DELFLEX, and abdominal closure was standardized across both groups. Patients were matched using Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) variables. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.There were no differences between the control and experimental groups with regard to age, sex, ethnicity, or APACHE II at 24 hours. Indications for damage control included pancreatitis, perforated hollow viscous, bowel obstruction, and ischemic enterocolitis. Patients undergoing DPR had both a higher rate of (68% vs. 43%, p < 0.03) and a shorter time to definitive fascial closure (5.9 [3.2] days vs. 7.7 [4.1] days, p < 0.02). DPR patients had a decreased APACHE II and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score compared with the controls at 48 hours. In addition, DPR patients had fewer abdominal complications compared with the controls (RR, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.32–1.01; p = 0.038). Ventilator days and intensive care unit length of stay were both significantly reduced in the DPR group. The DPR group showed a lower overall mortality at 30 days (16% vs. 27%, p = 0.15).DPR reduces time to definitive abdominal closure, increases primary fascial closure, and reduces intra-abdominal complications following DCS. DPR may also attenuate progressive physiologic injury as demonstrated by a reduction in 48-hour intensive care unit severity scores. As a result, DPR following DCS may afford better outcomes to patients experiencing shock.Therapeutic study, level III.