Outcomes of damage-control celiotomy in elderly nontrauma patients with intra-abdominal catastrophes

Anuradha Subramanian, Courtney Balentine, Carlos H. Palacio, Shubhada Sansgiry, David H. Berger, Samir S. Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective Damage-control laparotomy, initially developed for trauma patients, has expanded into the general surgery arena. Little evidence exists regarding the utility of damage-control celiotomy (DCCT) in elderly nontrauma patients. Our objective was to review the management and outcomes of DCCT in elderly patients with intra-abdominal catastrophes. Methods Retrospective chart review from 1998 to 2008 identified cases of DCCT. Demographics, comorbidities, surgical techniques, morbidity, long-term disposition, and mortality were analyzed. Results From 210 patients with emergency surgeries, 88 (42%) patients with DCCT were identified, 33 (38%) were greater than 65 years old and 55 (63%) were ≤65 years old. The average APACHE IV score for the elderly was 84 ± 2 versus 68 ± 2 for the younger group (p < .001). Elderly patients had significantly higher comorbidites with respect to cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal disease. When comparing the 2 groups, there were no significant differences in-hospital or intensive care unit lengths of stay or ventilator days. There were also no significant differences in complications and disposition. Using Cox proportional hazards analysis, age was not an independent predictor of 30-day mortality. Conclusions Age is not an independent predictor of worse outcomes in patients managed by the DCCT technique after intra-abdominal catastrophes. This management technique should be considered for elderly patients who require DCCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-789
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly
  • Open abdomen
  • Temporary abdominal closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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