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ABSTRACT: Progress in perinatology and neonatal intensive care led to surgical treatment of premature infants born with low (<1500 g) and extremely low (<1000 g) birth weight. Aim: Evaluation of surgical treatment in the group of neonates with very low birth weight (<1500 g) and extremely low birth weight (<1000 g). Material and methods: In the years 2000-2009 in the Department of Paediatric Surgery in the Institute of Mother and Child, 617 neonates underwent surgical treatment, 101 of them (16%) were born with very low or extremely low birth weight. In the analyzed group the birth weight ranged from 450 g to 1500 g (mean 952 g), gestational age ranged from 23 weeks to 32 weeks (mean 27 weeks). Fifty four patients (53%) were operated with the weight <1000 g. Indications for surgery were of two categories: pathologies related to prematurity and congenital defects. The extend of surgical intervention is presented. Additional pathologies influencing prognosis such as respiratory distress syndrome, haemodynamic ductus arteriosus, intraventricular haemorrhagia, multiple congenital defects and genetic disorders were also taken into consideration. Mortality in the entire group of patients was evaluated in relation to the birth weight, gestational age, reasons for surgical treatment and additional risk factors. Results: Pathologies related to prematurity were indications for surgical treatment in 70 patients: perforation of the bowel in the course of necrotizing enterocolitis - NEC (28 patients), spontaneous intestinal perforation - SIP (32), gastric perforation - GP (4), meconium obstruction - MO (3) posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus - PH (3). In the remaining 31 neonates the following congenital defects were operated: inguinal hernia (10 patients), oesophageal atresia (8), anal atresia (2), torsion of the bowel (2), bowel atresia (3), hernia of the umbilical cord (3), ruptured omphalocele (1), myelomeningocele (2). In the entire group of 101 premature infants, 99 patients (98%) had respiratory distress syndrome, 56 (56%) required the closure of ductus arteriosus , in 55 patients (55%) intraventricular haemorrhage from II to IV degree was confirmed. In total thirty patients died. Twenty one of them were ELBW neonates. None of the patients died during the operation or within the first postoperative day. Mortality rate in the group with the weight <1000 g was 38%, in the group with the weight 1000 g-1500 g it was 19%. Highest mortality was observed in the patients with oesophageal atresia (62%) In this group the biggest number of additional anomalies or other genetic disorders was found. Twenty infants died (31%) in the group of 64 neonates with perforations. Mortality rate in the groups with the weight <1000 g and 1000 g-1500 g it was 34% and 26% respectively. Our results confirmed the significant difference between mortality in NEC - 65% and in SIP - 19.5% . The remaining 5 deaths were related both to extreme multiorgan prematurity and severe congenital defects. Conclusion: The most frequent indications for surgery in premature neonates (VLBW and ELBW) are acquired pathologies which are related to premature multiorgan insufficiency: perforations in the course of ischaemic or inflamatory changes in the bowel (NEC, SIP), intestinal obstruction related to functional insufficiency of alimentary tract (MO) and posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus. Congenital anomalies constitute 30% of indications for surgical treatment in this group of patients. Neonates born with low or extremely low birth weight are in the group of patients with the highest intraoperative risk. There is herefore a need to create well equipped, interdisciplinary centres employing paediatric surgeons, anaesthesiologists and neonatologists experienced in treatment of extremely premature neonates.
Medycyna wieku rozwojowego 01/2011; 15(3 Pt 2):394-405.