Background: Although bowel resections are commonly done for congenital malformations in children in developed countries, they usually follow neglected and preventable acquired diseases of the intestine in developing countries.
Objectives: To determine the indications and outcome of bowel resections in children of a developing country in a university teaching hospital.
Materials and methods: Data of the patients operated (from birth to 15 years) was retrospectively collected over eight years (January 1999 to December 2006). The biodata of children included the following: Indications for operation, type of operations, duration of admission, and outcome of treatment including complications. Patients with Hirschsprung's disease were excluded from the study because bowel resection forms part of their definitive surgical management.
Results: There were 70 patients (38 boys and 32 girls). The age ranged between four hours to 15 years (median, five months). There were 16 (22.9%) neonates, 26 (37.1%) infants, and 28 (40%) grown children. The indications were congenital anomalies in the 16 neonates. Also, 23 (88.5%) infants had intussusception, 2 (7.7%) had midgut vovulusm and 1 (3.8%) had congenital small intestine band. Among the grown children, typhoid ileal perforation (TIP) was seen in 14 (50.0%), intussusception in 5 (17.9%), and other causes in nine patients. Overall, intussusception was the most common indication for bowel resection, followed by TIP. A total of 24 patients developed 33 complications. Complications included wound infection in 47.8% and anastomotic leak in 42.8%. The duration of admission ranged between 4-35 days (median, 15 days). The overall mortality was 17.1% -; which was highest among neonates (56.3%), followed by the infants (26.9% -).
Conclusion: Bowel resections are mainly done for intussusception and complications of TIP at our centre. Late presentation, preexisting malnutrition, and nonavailability of parenteral nutrition contributed to unacceptable morbidity and mortality.