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1.  Acute scrotum as a complication of Thiersch operation for rectal prolapse in a child 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:19.
We report a case of acute scrotal condition that presented in a four year old male child one year after being treated for an idiopathic rectal prolapse utilizing Thiersch wire.
Case presentation
The acute scrotum had resulted from spreading perianal infection due to erosion of the circlage wire. The condition was treated with antibiotics and removal of the wire. The child made an uneventful recovery.
This case highlights that patients with Thiersch wire should be followed until the wire is removed. Awareness of anal lesions as a cause of acute scrotal conditions, and history and physical examination are emphasized.
PMCID: PMC1785387  PMID: 17194301
2.  A huge Omental Lymphangioma with extention into Labia Majorae: A case report 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:18.
Abdominal cystic lymphangiomas are uncommon congenital benign tumors.
Case presentation
We present a case of a 4 year old female child with a cystic lymphangioma arising from greater omentum and occupying whole of the abdomen and protruding through labia mejora. Ultrasonography and CT scan confirmed the diagnosis. Complete excision of the cyst along with omentectomy done with no clinical or radiological evidence of recurrence till 6 months.
Due to variable presentation of abdominal lymphangiomas, extensive imaging studies are necessary for evaluation and diagnosis. Complete surgical resection is a treatment of choice.
PMCID: PMC1770937  PMID: 17192181
3.  Non-randomised patients in a cholecystectomy trial: characteristics, procedures, and outcomes 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:17.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is now considered the first option for gallbladder surgery. However, 20% to 30% of cholecystectomies are completed as open operations often on elderly and fragile patients. The external validity of randomised trials comparing mini-laparotomy cholecystectomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy has not been studied. The aim of this study is to analyse characteristics, procedures, and outcomes for all patients who underwent cholecystectomy without being included in such a trial.
Characteristics (age, sex, co-morbidity, and ASA-score), operation time, hospital stay, and mortality were compared for patients who underwent cholecystectomy outside and within a randomised controlled trial comparing mini-laparotomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
During the inclusion period 1719 patients underwent cholecystectomy. 726 patients were randomised and 724 of them completed the trial; 993 patients underwent cholecystectomy outside the trial. The non-randomised patients were older – and had more complications from gallstone disease, higher co-morbidity, and higher ASA – score when compared with trial patients. They were also more likely to undergo acute surgery and they had a longer postoperative hospital stay, with a median 3 versus 2 days (p < 0.001 for all comparisons). Standardised mortality ratio within 90 days of operation was 3.42 (mean) (95% CI 2.17 to 5.13) for non-randomised patients and 1.61 (mean) (95%CI 0.02 to 3.46) for trial patients. For non-randomised patients, operation time did not differ significantly between mini-laparotomy and open cholecystectomy in multivariate analysis. However, the operation for laparoscopic cholecystectomy lasted 20 minutes longer than open cholecystectomy. Hospital stay was significantly shorter for both mini-laparotomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy compared to open cholecystectomy.
Non-randomised patients were older and more sick than trial patients. The assignment of healthier patients to trials comparing mini-laparotomy cholecystectomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy limits the external validity of conclusions reached in such trials.
PMCID: PMC1769514  PMID: 17190587
4.  Perioperative strategy in colonic surgery; LAparoscopy and/or FAst track multimodal management versus standard care (LAFA trial) 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:16.
Recent developments in large bowel surgery are the introduction of laparoscopic surgery and the implementation of multimodal fast track recovery programs. Both focus on a faster recovery and shorter hospital stay.
The randomized controlled multicenter LAFA-trial (LAparoscopy and/or FAst track multimodal management versus standard care) was conceived to determine whether laparoscopic surgery, fast track perioperative care or a combination of both is to be preferred over open surgery with standard care in patients having segmental colectomy for malignant disease.
The LAFA-trial is a double blinded, multicenter trial with a 2 × 2 balanced factorial design. Patients eligible for segmental colectomy for malignant colorectal disease i.e. right and left colectomy and anterior resection will be randomized to either open or laparoscopic colectomy, and to either standard care or the fast track program. This factorial design produces four treatment groups; open colectomy with standard care (a), open colectomy with fast track program (b), laparoscopic colectomy with standard care (c), and laparoscopic surgery with fast track program (d). Primary outcome parameter is postoperative hospital length of stay including readmission within 30 days. Secondary outcome parameters are quality of life two and four weeks after surgery, overall hospital costs, morbidity, patient satisfaction and readmission rate.
Based on a mean postoperative hospital stay of 9 +/- 2.5 days a group size of 400 patients (100 each arm) can reliably detect a minimum difference of 1 day between the four arms (alfa = 0.95, beta = 0.8). With 100 patients in each arm a difference of 10% in subscales of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire and social functioning can be detected.
The LAFA-trial is a randomized controlled multicenter trial that will provide evidence on the merits of fast track perioperative care and laparoscopic colorectal surgery in patients having segmental colectomy for malignant disease.
PMCID: PMC1693570  PMID: 17134506
5.  Diagnostic value of blood inflammatory markers for detection of acute appendicitis in children 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:15.
Acute appendicitis (AA) is a common surgical problem that is associated with an acute-phase reaction. Previous studies have shown that cytokines and acute-phase proteins are activated and may serve as indicators for the severity of appendicitis. The aim of this study was to compare diagnostic value of different serum inflammatory markers in detection of phlegmonous or perforated appendicitis in children.
Data were collected prospectively on 211 consecutive children. Laparotomy was performed for suspected AA for 189 patients. Patients were subdivided into groups: nonsurgical abdominal pain, early appendicitis, phlegmonous or gangrenous appendicitis, perforated appendicitis.
White blood cell count (WBC), serum C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), acid α1-glycoprotein (α1GP), endotoxin, and erythrocyte sedimentation reaction (ESR) were estimated ad the time of admission. The diagnostic performance was analyzed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.
WBC count, CRP and IL-6 correlated significantly with the severity of appendiceal inflammation. Identification of children with severe appendicitis was supported by IL-6 or CRP but not WBC. Between IL-6 and CRP, there were no significant differences in diagnostic use.
Laboratory results should be considered to be integrated within the clinical assessment. If used critically, CRP and IL-6 equally provide surgeons with complementary information in discerning the necessity for urgent operation.
PMCID: PMC1712352  PMID: 17132173
6.  Laryngocele: a rare complication of surgical tracheostomy 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:14.
A laryngocele is usually a cystic dilatation of the laryngeal saccule. The etiology behind its occurrence is still unclear, but congenital and acquired factors have been implicated in its development.
Case presentation
We present a rare case of laryngocele occurring in a 77-year-old Caucasian woman. The patient presented with one month history of altered voice, no other associated symptoms were reported. The medical history of the patient included respiratory failure secondary to childhood polio at the age of ten; the airway management included a surgical tracheostomy.
Flexible naso-laryngoscopy revealed a soft mass arising from the posterior pharyngeal wall obscuring the view of the posterior commissure and vocal folds. The shape of the mass altered with respiration and on performing valsalva maneuver. A plain lateral neck radiograph revealed a large air filled sac originating from the laryngeal cartilages and extending along the posterior pharyngeal wall. The patient was then treated by endoscopic laser marsupialization and reviewed annually.
We discuss the complications of tracheostomy and the pathophysiology of laryngoceles and in particular the likely aetiological factors in this case.
A laryngocele presenting in a female patient with tracheostomy is extremely rare and has not been to date reported in the world literature. A local mechanical condition may be the determinant factor in the pathogenesis of the disease.
PMCID: PMC1676021  PMID: 17129390
7.  Totally laparoscopic versus conventional ileoanal pouch procedure – design of a single-centre, expertise based randomised controlled trial to compare the laparoscopic and conventional surgical approach in patients undergoing primary elective restorative proctocolectomy- LapConPouch-Trial 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:13.
Restorative proctocolectomy is increasingly being performed minimal invasively but a totally laparoscopic technique has not yet been compared to the standard open technique in a randomized study.
This is a two armed, single centre, expertise based, preoperatively randomized, patient blinded study. It is designed as a two-group parallel superiority study. Power calculation revealed 80 patients per group in order to recruit the 65 patients to be analysed for the primary endpoint. The primary objective is to investigate intra-operative blood loss and the need for blood transfusions. We hypothesise that intra-operative blood loss and the need for peri-operative blood transfusions are significantly higher in the conventional group. Additionally a set of surgical and non-surgical parameters related to the operation will be analysed as secondary objectives. These will include operative time, complications, postoperative pain, lung function, postoperative length of hospital stay, a cosmetic score and pre-and postoperative quality of life.
The trial will answer the question whether there is indeed an advantage in the laparoscopic group in regard to blood loss and the need for blood transfusions. Moreover, it will generate data on the safety and potential advantages and disadvantages of the minimally invasive approach.
PMCID: PMC1676020  PMID: 17125500
8.  New surgical approach for late complications from spinal cord injury 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:12.
The most frequent late complications in spinal cord injury result from arachnoiditis and consequent alterations in dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid flow. A surgical procedure carried out on patients with these alterations, resolved the various pathologies more efficiently in all cases.
From October 2000 to March 2006, 23 patients were selected for surgery: three showed signs of syringomyelia, three presented with microcystic lesions, three presented with arachnoid cysts in different locations but always confluent to the scar area, and 14 showed evidence of tethered cords. The surgery consisted of laminectomy at four levels, followed by dural opening in order to remove all the arachnoiditis at the level of the scar and to remove the altered arachnoid and its cysts, at least at two levels above and below the lesion. The dentate ligaments were cut at all exposed levels.
The patients had no postoperative problems and not only retained all neurological functions but also showed neurological recovery. According to the motor and sensory scale of the American Spinal Injury Association, the recoveries were motor 20.6% (P < 0.001), touch 15.6% ((P < 0.001) and pinprick 14.4% (P < 0.001). These patients showed no signs of relapse at 4–66 month follow-up.
This alternative surgery resolved the pathologies provoking neurological deterioration by releasing the complete spinal cord at the level of the scar and the levels above and below it. It thus avoids myelotomies and the use of shunts and stents, which have a high long-term failure rate and consequent relapses. Nevertheless, this surgical procedure allows patients the chance to opt for any further treatment that may evolve in the future.
PMCID: PMC1626077  PMID: 17059598
9.  Perforated carcinoma of the caecum presenting as necrotising fasciitis of the abdominal wall, the key to early diagnosis and management 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:11.
Necrotising Fasciitis is a life threatening soft tissue infection which requires aggressive, early surgical management.
Case presentation
We present a rare case of a retroperitoneal perforation of a carcinoma of the caecum presenting as a necrotising fasciitis of the anterior abdominal wall.
This case highlights the importance of early aggressive debridement to healthy tissue limits, the consideration of a rare underlying cause, and the scope for plastic surgical reconstruction in order that aggressive initial surgery can be adequately performed.
PMCID: PMC1615875  PMID: 17010190
10.  Clinicopathological findings in a case series of extrathoracic solitary fibrous tumors of soft tissues 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:10.
Solitary fibrous tumors (SFT) represent a rare entity of soft tissue tumors. Previously considered being of serosal origin and solely limited to the pleural cavity the tumor has been described in other locations, most particularly the head and neck. Extrathoracic SFT in the soft tissues of the trunk and the extremities are very rare. Nine cases of this rare tumor entity are described in the course of this article with respect to clinicopathological data, follow-up and treatment results.
Data were obtained from patients' records, phone calls to the patients' general practitioners, and clinical follow-up examination, including chest X-ray, abdominal ultrasound, and MRI or computed tomography.
There were 6 females and 3 males, whose age at time of diagnosis ranged from 32 to 92 years (mean: 62.2 years). The documented tumors' size was 4.5 to 10 cm (mean: 7 cm). All tumors were located in deep soft tissues, 3 of them epifascial, 2 subfascial, 4 intramuscular. Four tumors were found at the extremities, one each at the flank, in the neck, at the shoulder, in the gluteal region, and in the deep groin. Two out of 9 cases were diagnosed as atypical or malignant variant of ESFT. Complete resection was performed in all cases. Follow-up time ranged from 1 to 71 months. One of the above.mentioned patients with atypical ESFT suffered from local relapse and metastatic disease; the remaining 8 patients were free of disease.
ESFT usually behave as benign soft tissue tumors, although malignant variants with more aggressive local behaviour (local relapse) and metastasis may occur. The risk of local recurrence and metastasis correlates to tumor size and histological status of surgical resection margins and may reach up to 10% even in so-called "benign" tumors. Tumor specimens should be evaluated by experienced soft tissue pathologists. The treatment of choice is complete resection followed by extended follow-up surveillance.
PMCID: PMC1523192  PMID: 16824225
11.  Splenic peliosis with spontaneous splenic rupture: report of two cases 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:9.
Peliosis is a rare condition characterised by multiple cyst-like, blood-filled cavities within the parenchyma of solid organs. Most commonly affecting the liver, isolated splenic peliosis is an even more unique phenomenon. Patients with the condition are often asymptomatic. However, this potentially lethal condition can present with spontaneous organ rupture. We present two such cases, discuss their management and review what is currently known in the existing literature.
Case presentation
A previously well twenty-six year old woman presented with abdominal pain following a trivial episode of coughing. A diagnosis of spontaneous splenic rupture was made following clinical and radiological examination. She underwent emergency splenectomy and made a full, uneventful recovery. Histopathological examination confirmed splenic peliosis.
The second case describes an eighty six year old lady who sustained a trivial fall and developed pain in her left side. A CT confirmed splenic rupture. She became haemodynamically unstable during her admission and underwent emergency splenectomy. Histopathological examination revealed splenic peliosis. She went on to make an uneventful recovery.
Splenic peliosis is very rare. It has a number of associations including immunosuppression, drug therapy and infection. Although patients are often asymptomatic, life-threatening spontaneous organ rupture may occur. If the diagnosis of peliosis is confirmed, additional investigations should be considered to detect its presence in other organs. Furthermore, the presence of the condition may be relevant if further medical or surgical intervention is planned.
PMCID: PMC1523371  PMID: 16800889
12.  A prospective cohort study of postoperative complications in the management of perforated peptic ulcer 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:8.
With dwindling rates of postoperative mortality in perforated peptic ulcer that is attributable to H2-receptor blocker usage, there is a need to shift the focus towards the prevention of postoperative morbidity. Further, the simultaneous contribution of several putative clinical predictors to this postoperative morbidity is not fully appreciated. Our objective was to assess the predictors of the risk, rate and number of postoperative complications in surgically treated patients of perforated peptic ulcer.
In a prospective cohort study of 96 subjects presenting as perforated peptic ulcer and treated using Graham's omentoplatsy patch or gastrojejunostomy (with total truncal vagotomy), we assessed the association of clinical predictors with three domains of postoperative complications: the risk of developing a complication, the rate of developing the first complication and the risk of developing higher number of complications. We used multiple regression methods – logistic regression, Cox proportional hazards regression and Poisson regression, respectively – to examine the association of the predictors with these three domains.
We observed that the risk of developing a postoperative complication was significantly influenced by the presence of a concomitant medical illness [odds ratio (OR) = 8.9, p = 0.001], abdominal distension (3.8, 0.048) and a need of blood transfusion (OR = 8.2, p = 0.027). Using Poisson regression, it was observed that the risk for a higher number of complications was influenced by the same three factors [relative risk (RR) = 2.6, p = 0.015; RR = 4.6, p < 0.001; and RR = 2.4, p = 0.002; respectively]. However, the rate of development of complications was influenced by a history suggestive of shock [relative hazards (RH) = 3.4, p = 0.002] and A- blood group (RH = 4.7, p = 0.04).
Abdominal distension, presence of a concomitant medical illness and a history suggestive of shock at the time of admission warrant a closer and alacritous postoperative management in patients of perforated peptic ulcer.
PMCID: PMC1544354  PMID: 16780583
13.  Splenectomy and proximal lieno-renal shunt in a factor five deficient patient with extra-hepatic portal vein obstruction 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:7.
The clinico-surgical implication and successful management of a rare case of factor five (V) deficiency with portal hypertension and hypersplenism due to idiopathic extra-hepatic portal venous obstruction is presented.
Case presentation
A 16-year old boy had gastro-esophageal variceal bleeding, splenomegaly and hypersplenism. During preoperative workup prolonged prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time were detected, which on further evaluation turned out to be due to factor V deficiency. Proximal lieno-renal shunt and splenectomy were successfully performed with transfusion of fresh frozen plasma during and after the surgical procedure. At surgery there was no excessive bleeding. The perioperative course was uneventful and the patient is doing well on follow up.
Surgical portal decompressive procedures can be safely undertaken in clotting factor deficient patients with portal hypertension if meticulous surgical hemostasis is achieved at operation and the deficient factor is adequately replaced in the perioperative period.
PMCID: PMC1482719  PMID: 16712730
14.  Minimally invasive 'step-up approach' versus maximal necrosectomy in patients with acute necrotising pancreatitis (PANTER trial): design and rationale of a randomised controlled multicenter trial [ISRCTN38327949] 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:6.
The initial treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis is conservative. Intervention is indicated in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis. In the Netherlands, the standard intervention is necrosectomy by laparotomy followed by continuous postoperative lavage (CPL). In recent years several minimally invasive strategies have been introduced. So far, these strategies have never been compared in a randomised controlled trial. The PANTER study (PAncreatitis, Necrosectomy versus sTEp up appRoach) was conceived to yield the evidence needed for a considered policy decision.
88 patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis will be randomly allocated to either group A) minimally invasive 'step-up approach' starting with drainage followed, if necessary, by videoscopic assisted retroperitoneal debridement (VARD) or group B) maximal necrosectomy by laparotomy. Both procedures are followed by CPL. Patients will be recruited from 20 hospitals, including all Dutch university medical centres, over a 3-year period. The primary endpoint is the proportion of patients suffering from postoperative major morbidity and mortality. Secondary endpoints are complications, new onset sepsis, length of hospital and intensive care stay, quality of life and total (direct and indirect) costs. To demonstrate that the 'step-up approach' can reduce the major morbidity and mortality rate from 45 to 16%, with 80% power at 5% alpha, a total sample size of 88 patients was calculated.
The PANTER-study is a randomised controlled trial that will provide evidence on the merits of a minimally invasive 'step-up approach' in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis.
PMCID: PMC1508161  PMID: 16606471
15.  Open cholecystectomy for all patients in the era of laparoscopic surgery – a prospective cohort study 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:5.
Open cholecystectomy through a small incision is an alternative to laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
From 1 January 2002 through 31 December 2003, all operations upon the gallbladder in a district hospital with emergency admission and responsibility for surgical training were done as intended small-incision open cholecystectomy.
182 women and 90 men with a median age of 56 (interquartile range 45 to 68 years) underwent cholecystectomy for symptomatic gallbladder disease, 170 as elective and 102 as emergency cases. Trainee surgeons assisted by consultants or registrars having passed an examination for open cholecystectomy performed surgery in 194 cases (71%). The common bile duct was explored in 52 patients. Total postoperative morbidity was six percent. Median postoperative stay was one day and mean total (pre- and postoperative) hospital stay 3.1 days. 32 operations (12%) were done as day surgery procedures. Nationally in Sweden in 2002, mean total hospital stay was 4.4 days, and 13% of all cholecystectomies were performed on an outpatient basis.
Open, small-incision cholecystectomy for all patients is compatible with short hospital stay, evidence-based gall-bladder surgery, and training of surgical residents.
PMCID: PMC1450318  PMID: 16584556
16.  Gastrointestinal obstruction due to plaster ingestion: a case-report 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:4.
Plaster ingestion forming gastric bezoar is a strange way to attempt suicide and this method has not yet been reported. It may lead to a mechanical obstruction of the gut, especially the pyloric region, and could manifest with abdominal pain, epigastric distress, nausea, vomiting, and fullness.
Case presentation
Herein we report a case of a 37 year-old woman presenting with plaster ingestion and gastric outlet obstruction, who underwent surgery. At six months follow-up the patient was fully recovered.
Plaster has no toxic or erosive effects. Endoscopic or surgical removing of such material is recommended. Moreover, psychiatric intervention and management is imperative to prevent recurrence in such cases.
PMCID: PMC1386707  PMID: 16483375
17.  Idiopathic sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis (or abdominal cocoon) 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:3.
Idiopathic sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis (or abdominal cocoon) is a rare cause of small bowel obstruction, especially in adult population. Diagnosis is usually incidental at laparotomy. We discuss one such rare case, outlining the fact that an intra-operative surprise diagnosis could have been facilitated by previous investigations.
Case presentation
A 56 year-old man presented in A&E department with small bowel ileus. He had a history of 6 similar episodes of small bowel obstruction in the past 4 years, which resolved with conservative treatment. Pre-operative work-up did not reveal any specific etiology. At laparotomy, a fibrous capsule was revealed, in which small bowel loops were encased, with the presence of interloop adhesions. A diagnosis of abdominal cocoon was established and extensive adhesiolysis was performed. The patient had an uneventful recovery and follow-up.
Idiopathic sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis, although rare, may be the cause of a common surgical emergency such as small bowel ileus, especially in cases with attacks of non-strangulating obstruction in the same individual. A high index of clinical suspicion may be generated by the recurrent character of small bowel ileus combined with relevant imaging findings and lack of other plausible etiologies. Clinicians must rigorously pursue a preoperative diagnosis, as it may prevent a "surprise" upon laparotomy and result in proper management.
PMCID: PMC1421435  PMID: 16476161
18.  Single- versus two- layer intestinal anastomosis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:2.
To compare single- with two- layer intestinal anastomosis after intestinal resection: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Randomized controlled trials comparing single- with two-layer intestinal anastomosis were identified using a systematic search of Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library Databases covering articles published from 1966 to 2004. Outcome of primary interest was postoperative leak. A risk ratio for trial outcomes and weighted pooled estimates for data were calculated. A fixed-effect model weighted using Mantel-Haenszel methods and a random-effect model using DerSimonian-Laird methods were employed.
Six trials were analyzed, comprising 670 participants (single-layer group, n = 299; two-layer group, n = 371). Data on leaks were available from all included studies. Combined risk ratio using DerSimonian-Laird methods was 0.91 (95% CI = 0.49 to 1.69), and indicated no significant difference. Inter-study heterogeneity was significant (χ2 = 10.5, d.f. = 5, p = 0.06).
No evidence was found that two-layer intestinal anastomosis leads to fewer post-operative leaks than single layer. Considering duration of the anastomosis procedure and medical expenses, single-layer intestinal anastomosis appears to represent the optimal choice for most surgical situations.
PMCID: PMC1373646  PMID: 16438733
19.  Perforated peptic duodenal ulcer in a paraesophageal hernia – a case report of a rare surgical emergency 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:1.
Paraesophageal hernias are quite common and sometimes feared due to the risk of incarceration and strangulation of any herniated organ. The hereby reported combination of an incarcerated paraesophageal hernia containing a perforated peptic ulcer is extremely rare.
Case presentation
An elderly man with multiple medical conditions was admitted due to severe upper abdominal pain. The patient was found to have a paraesophageal hernia and underwent a laparotomy. In the hernia, a perforated benign peptic duodenal ulcer was found. The duodenal defect was over-sewn, the hernial defect was closed and the former hernial cavity was drained by a right-sided chest tube. The patient was discharged one month after surgery and was found to do well at follow-up one month after discharge.
This is the first report of a patient surviving the extremely rare and life-threatening combination of a perforated peptic duodenal ulcer in a paraesophageal hernia.
PMCID: PMC1388246  PMID: 16438731

Results 1-19 (19)