Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 1081–1084

Recurrent neonatal gastro-intestinal problems after spontaneous intestinal perforation

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00383-007-1999-2

Cite this article as:
Drewett, M.S. & Burge, D.M. Pediatr Surg Int (2007) 23: 1081. doi:10.1007/s00383-007-1999-2


To identify intestinal complications during the neonatal period following spontaneous isolated intestinal perforation (SIP). A retrospective case notes review was undertaken of all patients with a diagnosis of SIP, confirmed at laparotomy or post-mortem, admitted between January 2000 and January 2005. Patients with confirmed gastric perforation were excluded as were patients with proven necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) or suspected, but not confirmed, SIP. Seventeen patients, median gestation 27 weeks and median birth weight 780 g, were treated by drain alone (1), drain and later laparotomy (4) or primary laparotomy (12). Eight patients required enterostomy formation at primary laparotomy (1 jejunostomy, 1 colostomy and 6 ileostomy). Five babies died in the neonatal period and three later in the first year. Nine patients (53%) had ten subsequent episodes of intestinal pathology requiring surgical intervention between 5 and 136 days later comprising early recurrent isolated perforation (2), NEC (3), milk curd obstruction with or without perforation (3) and adhesion obstruction (2). Secondary surgery involved laparotomy in eight patients, five of whom required formation or re-formation of a stoma, and palliative drain insertion in one patient. Recurrent intestinal pathology requiring surgical intervention during the neonatal period occurred in 53% of babies with SIP. Surgeons and neonatologists should be aware that this group of patients are prone to further intestinal pathology.


Intestinal perforationNeonate

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neonatal Medicine and SurgeryPrincess Anne HospitalSouthamptonUK