Purpose: The aim of this study was to quantify the risk of adhesion-related readmissions after abdominal surgery in children.
Methods: This was a population-based study. One thousand five hundred eighty-one children younger than 16 years underwent laparotomy in 1996. Patients were identified from the Scottish Morbidity Records database and followed up for 4 years.
Results: In children younger than 5 years, 4.2% had a readmission "directly" owing to adhesions. In children younger than 16 years, 1.1% had a readmission directly owing to adhesions. The highest risk of readmission followed surgery on the small intestine (9.3%), followed by abdominal wall surgery (5.8%), duodenal surgery (2.6%), colonic surgery (2.1%), and appendicectomy (0.3%). 55% of all readmissions occurred in the first year.
Conclusion: There was no difference in readmission rates between younger and older children when comparing the organ on which surgery was initially performed. The highest readmission rate followed small intestinal surgery and the lowest followed appendicectomy. The risk of readmission was highest in the first year.