Background/purpose: Gastroschisis traditionally is managed by emergency operating room closure (EC), with a silo reserved for cases that cannot be closed primarily. The authors recently began using routine insertion of a SILASTIC (Dow Corning, Midland, MI) spring-loaded silo (SLS), followed by elective closure.
Methods: A total of 43 consecutive neonates with gastroschisis were treated between 1993 and 1998.
Results: Thirty patients underwent EC, and 13 underwent closure after insertion of a SLS (10 at bedside, 3 in the operating room). Eight infants treated by EC required staged repair. There were no differences with respect to gestational age, birth weight, gender, Apgar score, maternal age, or mode of delivery. Median length of stay was 32 days for EC and 25 days for SLS (P = .05). The SLS group required fewer days on a ventilator (4 v 6 days, P = .03) and had lower intraoperative (28 v 21, P = .02) and early postoperative peak airway pressures. The time to tolerate full feedings was 21 days for SLS and 27 days for EC (P = .07). The SLS group had fewer complications and a lower median hospital charge ($71,498 v $85,147; P = .05).
Conclusion: SLS followed by elective repair permits gentle, gradual reduction of the viscera. When compared with EC, SLS is associated with significantly lower airway pressures, earlier extubation, fewer complications, and decreased length of stay and hospital charges.