Rapid Source-Control Laparotomy: Is There a Mortality Benefit?

Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2017 Oct;18(7):787-792. doi: 10.1089/sur.2017.071. Epub 2017 Aug 28.


Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the influence rapid source-control laparotomy (RSCL) has on the mortality rate in non-trauma patients with intra-abdominal infection. The hypothesis was that RSCL reduces deaths and hospital lengths of stay (LOS) in patients compared with definitive repair and primary fascial closure (PFC).

Methods: The International Classification of Diseases-10 codes for sepsis, gastric and duodenal ulcer perforation or hemorrhage, incisional or ventral hernia with obstruction, intestinal volvulus, ileus with obstruction, diverticulitis with perforation or abscess, vascular disorder of intestine, non-traumatic intestinal perforation, peritoneal abscess, and unspecified peritonitis were used to query the 2015 National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) database for all patients treated with either RSCL or PFC. The two groups of patients were compared on the basis of LOS and deaths. Collected data included age, gender, body mass index (BMI), site classification, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, operative time, number of risk factors, and pre-operative septic state.

Results: After adjusting for the aforementioned variables, propensity score-matched cohorts (n = 210 in each cohort) were used to evaluate the influence of incision closure type on LOS and mortality rate. The odds of death (31.4% vs. 21.4%) with RSCL was 1.78 (95% confidence interval 1.08-2.95; p = 0.02) times that of PFC. Closure type was not significantly associated with an increased LOS (median 14 vs. 11 days; p = 0.35).

Conclusions: This retrospective cohort analysis demonstrated that RSCL is associated with higher odds of death in general surgical patients with intra-abdominal infection. There is a need for further studies to delineate what, if any, physiologic parameters indicate a need for RSCL.

Keywords: intra-abdominal infection; laparotomy; primary fascial closure; source control.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wound Closure Techniques / mortality*
  • Abdominal Wound Closure Techniques / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Intraabdominal Infections / surgery*
  • Laparotomy / mortality*
  • Laparotomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Propensity Score
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies