Outcomes of Ostomy Location in Children: Placement of the Ostomy at the Umbilicus

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2019 Feb;29(2):243-247. doi: 10.1089/lap.2018.0185. Epub 2018 Sep 14.


Purpose: Neonatal exploratory laparotomies are often performed with a transumbilical incision in our institution, so umbilical ostomy placement has become more common. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the outcomes of neonates with ostomy placement at the umbilicus in comparison to more traditional stoma locations.

Material and methods: Retrospective study of neonates that underwent an exploratory laparotomy with ostomy creation between January 2010 and September 2015. Demographics, presentation, feedings, ostomy position, postoperative complications, and outcomes were collected. Comparative analysis was performed in STATA with P-value <.05 determined as significant. Results reported as means ± standard deviation and medians with interquartile ranges.

Results: Fifty-four children were included, 37% (n = 20) had stomas at the umbilicus. Most common other stoma location was the right lower quadrant (63%, n = 34). Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) was the most common indication for surgery in both groups. Days to stoma output were similar between the two groups, [3 (1, 6) versus 2 (1, 5), P = .96]. Days to initiation of feeds were delayed in the umbilical ostomy group [15 (9.5, 23.5) versus 6 (4, 10), P = .02]. Comparing only NEC patients, initiation of feeds was similar [22 (14, 56) versus 15.5 (8, 43), P = .73]. Umbilical ostomies had an increase in prolapse/peristomal hernias (7 versus 3, P = .01), but no patients required operative revision.

Conclusion: Umbilical ostomies had similar time to stoma function compared to other sites, but a delay in initiation of oral feeds likely secondary to a higher percentage of patients with NEC.

Keywords: exploratory laparotomy; necrotizing enterocolitis; neonate; stoma; umbilical ostomy.

MeSH terms

  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / surgery
  • Female
  • Hernia / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Ostomy / adverse effects
  • Ostomy / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prolapse
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Stomas* / adverse effects
  • Surgical Stomas* / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Umbilicus / surgery*