Following the advent of laparoscopic surgery, cosmesis has become an important factor in surgical decision making.
The circumumbilical incision combines the advantages of an open approach with an aesthetically pleasing scar on the abdomen.
The aim of this paper is to examine the results of this incision in neonatal laparotomy.
All neonates who underwent a supraumbilical circumferential skin incision for an exploratory laparotomy in the period 1997-2007 were reviewed.
Gestational age, operative procedure, conversions to standard laparotomy, complications and follow-up were recorded.
A total of 55 neonates with a gestational age ranging from 28 to 42 weeks had 57 operative procedures.
The indications were: nonrotation of midgut in 18; intestinal atresia in 18; necrotizing enterocolitis/spontaneous perforation in 10; meconium ileus in 5; intestinal duplication in 2; patent vitellointestinal duct (VID) in 2. No conversion to a standard transverse incision was necessary in any case. However, an omega extension was made in four patients.
The complications encountered include wound infection in one; caecal perforation in one and incisional hernia in two cases.
Subsequent follow-up revealed that all incisions had healed and the scars were almost imperceptible as affirmed by parental satisfaction during outpatient clinic consultation.
The circumumbilical approach is a safe, flexible and easily reproducible approach providing adequate exposure for most abdominal surgeries in the neonate.
The low complication rate and pleasing aesthetic outcome are much appreciated by parents and operators alike.
Pediatric Surgery International
Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK, fiona.murphy [at] doctors.org.uk.
Pediatr Surg Int. 2009 Feb;25(2):145-7
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