Post-Operative Wound Complications Following Abdominal Surgery in Children: A Single Centre Experience


Chukwubuike Kevin Emeka*

Background: Post-operative wound complication may be defined as any negative wound outcome as perceived either by the surgeon or by the patient. The aim of this study was to evaluate a single center’s experience with regards to the pattern and management outcome of post-operative wound complications in children who underwent abdominal surgery.

Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study conducted on children who had laparotomy (emergency and elective) at the pediatric surgery unit of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Enugu, Nigeria between January 2010 and December 2019.

Results: A total of 1,914 laparotomies were performed during the study period but only 402 cases had post-operative wound complications, accounting for 21% of all the laparotomies. There was male predominance and children younger than 6 years of age were mostly affected. Majority of the patients presented more than 72 hours after onset of their symptoms that necessitated the initial surgery and the mean duration of hospital stay was 21 days. Typhoid intestinal perforation was the most common pathology and most of the cases were emergencies. Surgical site infection was the most common postoperative wound complication and mortality occurred in 2 (0.5%) patients.

Conclusion: Post-operative wound complications are not uncommon and may be associated with some morbidity and mortality. Future studies should identify modifiable factors that may reduce the occurrence of these post-operative complications.