Adv Pediatr Surg.  2018 Dec;24(2):35-43. 10.13029/aps.2018.24.2.35.

Enterostomy Closure after Acute Abdomen in Neonate and Infant

  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Seoul National University Children's Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pediatric Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The risk of acute abdomen in neonates and infants is generally increased due to advanced maternal age and neonatal intensive care unit care development. Enterostomy is a safe procedure for acute abdomen in neonates and infants. However, there is no consensus for the optimal timing of enterostomy closure (EC). A few considerations should be reviewed for deciding the timing of stoma closure to obtain the best outcome. Distal loopography is commonly performed upon examination to ascertain the existence of a distal passage after EC, detect signs of disease-specific complications, and assess the need of surgery in addition to EC. Pathology review is also one important pre-closure consideration. When the incidence of a hypoganglionosis or an aganglionosis combined with acute abdomen is observed in neonates and infants, thorough examinations should be performed to conclusively determine whether there is no passage disturbance of the distal bowel. Refeeding not only provides information about chance to grow, electrolyte imbalance correction, and proximal and distal bowel size match, but also provides information about distal bowel passage when there is a doubtful distal loopography or pathology result. Early closure enables growth spurt with the correction of water/electrolyte imbalance. It potentially reduced medical costs, less discrepancy between proximal and distal bowel size. Some factors favoring a late stoma closure may be due to less postoperative complications, early recovery, shorter time of total parenteral nutrition after EC, and decreased length of hospitalization after the EC. Some studies have shown controversial results. In summary, a pre-closure evaluation is imperative to assure the safety of an EC. The optimal timing of an EC remains controversial. For this reason, individualized approach is needed after reviewing the general condition of each patient. Further prospective study on optimal timing of stoma closure including a randomized clinical trial is needed.


Enterostomy; Acute abdomen; Newborn infant; Infant

MeSH Terms

Abdomen, Acute*
Infant, Newborn*
Intensive Care, Neonatal
Maternal Age
Parenteral Nutrition, Total
Postoperative Complications
Prospective Studies
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