Purpose: Traditional methods for securing a laparoscopic gastrostomy (LG) involve the placement of two monofilament transabdominal (TA) sutures to be removed after a short interval of 5 days. A modified technique employing an absorbable suture tunneled subcutaneously has been adopted by many surgeons. The aim of this study was to compare wound complications between these techniques.
Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent LG placement between 2010 and 2016 was conducted, dividing patients into two cohorts by securing stitch type, TA and subcutaneous (SC), and evaluating for complications.
Results: A total of 740 children underwent laparoscopic gastrostomy tube (GT) placement, of whom 554 (75%) patients had a TA stitch and the remaining 186 (25%) had a SC stitch. Demographic data were comparable in both groups. The most common wound complication was granulation tissue (22%), dislodgement (19%), external drainage (16%), cellulitis (10%), erosion (3%), and abscess formation (2%). Seven patients required operative revision for dislodgement; TA patients comprised the majority of these patients. Operative times were significantly longer in the SC group (22 minutes versus 28 minutes, P < .05). Rates of granulation, erosion, external and internal leakage, and dislodgement were equivalent between cohorts. There were higher rates of cellulitis (7.3% versus 19%, P < .05) and abscess (0.8% versus 7.6%, P < .05) noted in the SC group. Time to external leakage was significantly earlier in the SC group (P < .05); however, all other complications occurred at comparable times following initial operation. Persistent gastrocutaneous fistula requiring surgical closure occurred at equal rates with no difference in times to closure from GT discontinuation in both groups.
Conclusion: While both techniques are feasible, there was a significant increase in infectious complications and operative times observed in the SC stitch patients, suggesting this may not be the optimal securing method.
Keywords: laparoscopic gastrostomy; securing stitch; wound complications.