Placement of prophylactic drains after laparotomy may increase infectious complications in neonates

Mikihiro Inoue, Keiichi Uchida, Kohei Otake, Yuhki Koike, Yoshinaga Okugawa, Minako Kobayashi, Yasuhiko Mohri, Chikao Miki, Masato Kusunoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose The aim of this study was to determine if the placement of prophylactic drains influences the incidence of postoperative adverse events in neonates. Methods Neonatal patients undergoing laparotomy between April 2000 and December 2007 were prospectively assigned to aggressive peritoneal cavity lavage, without the placement of prophylactic drains, before abdominal closure (non-drainage group, n = 111). The historical control group consisted of neonates who underwent laparotomy with routine prophylactic drain placement between January 1993 and March 2000 (drainage group, n = 87). The incidence of postoperative adverse events was compared between the two groups. Results There were no significant differences in the incidence of overall complications (drainage, 48%; nondrainage, 36%: p = 0.08), infectious complications (drainage, 34%; non-drainage, 26%: p = 0.20) or surgical site infections (drainage, 20%; non-drainage, 14%: p = 0.25) between the two groups. In the subgroup analysis, the incidences of total postoperative complications and infectious complications were significantly higher in the drainage group compared with the non-drainage group for upper gastrointestinal tract operations (52 vs. 20%; 39 vs. 6.7%) (p = 0.04 and 0.02, respectively). Conclusion Prophylactic drainage did not reduce the incidence of postoperative complications, and the placement of drains may possibly increase the incidence of infectious complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-979
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 09-2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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