Primary Insertion of a Silastic Spring-Loaded Silo for Gastroschisis

Wu, Yeming; Vogel, Adam M.; Sailhamer, Elizabeth A.; Somme, Stig; Santore, Matthew J.; Chwals, Walter J.; Statter, Mindy B.; Liu, Donald C.
December 2003
American Surgeon;Dec2003, Vol. 69 Issue 12, p1083
Academic Journal
Gastroschisis is traditionally managed by emergency primary closure, with a temporary silo reserved for large defects unable to be closed primarily. We recently have begun primary Silastic (Dow Corning, Midland, MI) spring-loaded silo (SLS) closure followed by elective closure and report our preliminary experience. A total of 15 infants (weight range, 2.1-13.5 kg) at 2 different institutions were treated by SC by 3 different surgeons between 1998 and 2002. A 3-, 4-, or 5-cm (ring diameter) silo was used depending on size of abdominal wall defect. Elective closure was performed in the operating room or at the bedside. Surgical parameters assessed included success of SLS, peak inspiratory pressures (PIPs) pre- and post-SLS closure, total time of staged closure with SLS, time to full feedings, and intra- and postoperative complications. Fifteen of 15 infants were successfully treated by SLS closure followed by elective closure. Two of 15 (13.3%) experienced temporary dislodgement of the silo prior to permanent closure. In both cases, the silo was safely reinserted at the bedside. Comparison of PIP values measured at various stages of SLS closure revealed no significant difference (P > 0.05). Mean times to final fascial closure (3.7 days) and full enteral feedings (22 days) were similar to historical controls obtained from the surgical literature. In 1 case where there was associated intestinal atresia, SLS closure was effective in permitting concomitant elective closure and re-establishment of bowel continuity. All children are alive and well at the time of this report. SLS closure permits safe, gentle, and gradual reduction of the exposed viscera leading to successful permanent abdominal wall closure. Respiratory embarrassment and hemodynamic instability associated with emergent (primary) closure of large abdominal wall defects can thus be avoided.


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