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A 5-year audit of the formation, management and closure of small-bowel stomas and colostomies at Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town, is described. Of the 203 patients, 128 (63%) required the stroma in the neonatal period. Anorectal malformations (80), Hirschsprung's disease (65), necrotising enterocolitis (33), trauma (11) and neoplasm (5) comprised most of the indications. One hundred and thirty large-bowel stomas were sited in the proximal sigmoid and 37 in the transverse colon, all but 11 being divided with each end brought out through a short muscle cutting incision or through the laparotomy wound. Thirty-six ileostomies were performed and in 30 of these the stoma was sited in the wound. Complications, which included necrosis, bleeding, prolapse and wound sepsis, occurred in 31%. The colostomies sited in the transverse colon had the highest incidence of prolapse (38%). Neonatal stomas brought out in the wound had an acceptably low incidence of complications. Most stomas were temporary in nature. One hundred and eighty-eight were closed, all with excision and end-to-end intraperitoneal anastomosis. There was a 4% incidence of complications (5 would sepsis, 2 leaks, 1 stenosis). The formation, management and closure of bowel stomas represents a considerable section of the work of the paediatric surgeon. Correct meticulous technique is essential in keeping complications to a minimum.


Journal article


S Afr J Surg

Publication Date





110 - 113


Colostomy, Female, Humans, Ileostomy, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Medical Audit, Reoperation, Retrospective Studies, South Africa