Does routine postoperative contrast radiography improve outcomes for patients with perforated peptic ulcer? A multicenter retrospective cohort study

Shyam S. Jayaraman, Shreyus S. Kulkarni, Barbara Eaton, Jake Sides, Anna K. Gergen, Laura Harmon, Jason M. Weinberger, Brandon R. Bruns, Matthew D. Neal, Justin Turcotte, Cristina Feather, John R. Klune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Perforated peptic ulcer is a morbid emergency general surgery condition. Best practices for postoperative care remain undefined. Surgical dogma preaches practices such as peritoneal drain placement, prolonged nil per os, and routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging despite a lack of evidence. We aimed to evaluate the role of postoperative enteral contrast imaging in postoperative perforated peptic ulcer care. Our primary objective was to assess effects of routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging on early detection of clinically significant leaks. Methods: We conducted a multicenter retrospective cohort study of patients who underwent repair of perforated peptic ulcer between July 2016 and June 2018. We compared outcomes between those who underwent routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging and those who did not. Results: Our analysis included 95 patients who underwent primary/omental patch repair. The mean age was 60 years, and 54% were male. Thirteen (14%) had a leak. Eighty percent of patients had a drain placed. Nine patients had leaks diagnosed based on bilious drain output without routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging. Use of routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging varied significantly between institutions (30%–87%). Two late leaks after initial normal postoperative enteral contrast imaging were confirmed by imaging after a clinical change triggered the second study. Two patients had contained leaks identified by routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging but remained clinically well. Duration of hospital stay was longer in those who received routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging (12 vs 6 days, median; P = .000). Conclusion: Routine postoperative enteral contrast imaging after perforated peptic ulcer repair likely does not improve the detection of clinically significant leaks and is associated with increased duration of hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1554-1560
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery (United States)
Volume170
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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