Comparison of On-demand vs Planned Relaparotomy for Treatment of Severe Intra-abdominal Infections

Rakić, Mladen; Popović, Drago; Rakić, Mislav; Družijanić, Nikica; Lojpur, Mihajlo; Hall, Brian A.; Williams, Brent A.; Sprung, Juraj
December 2005
Croatian Medical Journal;2005, Vol. 46 Issue 6, p957
Academic Journal
Aim To compare morbidity and mortality of patients with severe intra-abdominal infections after two types of surgical treatment, on-demand ("wait and see") relaparotomy and modified planned relaparotomy. Methods We prospectively analyzed the outcomes of 65 patients with severe peritonitis surgically treated in two Croatian hospitals. In one hospital, 34 patients were treated on-demand, and in another hospital 31 patients were treated by planned relaparotomy. We compared severe postoperative complications, mortality, and length of hospital stay in the two groups of patients. Results Severity of patient's disease, as measured from preoperative group-average Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores, was comparable in both on-demand and planned relaparotomy groups. The mortality rate was higher in patients operated on-demand (59% vs 29%, P=0.024). In nonadjusted model, the relative risk of dying was 2.5-fold higher for patients treated by on-demand operation in comparison with planned relaparatomy (P=0.030). However, after the adjustment of the survival data for individual patient's sex and APACHE II scores, the difference in the relative risk became non-significant (P=0.178). The patients who died had higher APACHE II scores (26.1±8.9 vs 19.7±5.9, P=0.009). Relative risk of dying per 5-point increase in APACHE II score was 1.24 (95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.51; P=0.039), irrespective of the surgical technique. Conclusions Patients with severe peritonitis treated with planned relaparotomy seemed to have lower mortality. However, the relative risk of dying was not statistically different between the on-demand and planned relaparotomy groups after adjustment for preoperative APACHE II scores. The severity of disease rather than surgical approach plays more important role in survival of these patients.


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