Laparoscopic Surgical Management of Perforative Peritonitis in Enteric Fever: A Preliminary Study

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Early surgery in enteric perforation is the only accepted form of treatment in modern day medicine and gives excellent results. Exploratory laparotomy continues to be the mainstay of surgical treatment and several different procedures are recommended in literature. Between January 1998 and November 2001, we have successfully managed 6 consecutive cases of enteric perforation laparoscopically with complete resolution of the disease. There were 4 males and 2 females in our study. The mean time of presentation to us was 38 hours after the perforation (range 22 hours to 63 hours). The mean age was 32 years (range 28 years to 43 years). All patients presented with free air under the diaphragm. A laparoscopic approach was carried out through a 10 mm supraumbilical port and two 5 mm additional ports in the midline infraumbilical area and the left iliac fossa area. Simple one layer closure of the perforation was carried out with 2-0 silk intracorporeally and the peritoneal cavity was washed out and adequately drained. All perforations were localised to the terminal ileum and were single in number. The mean operating time was 54 minutes(range 42 to 75 minutes). All patients received parenteral ofloxacin and metrogyl. Postoperative recovery was uneventful in all patients and there were no major complications. All patients were discharged from hospital by the 4th postoperative day. Follow up over a period of 12 to 16 months revealed all patients to be in normal health. We strongly recommend a first line laparoscopic approach in all patients with typhoid perforation; as it is a safe and effective method of managing such cases.

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