Colostomy in neonates under local anaesthesia: Indications, technique and outcome

  • CS Lukong
  • BA Jabo
  • AY Mfuh
Keywords: Colostomy, local anaesthesia, mortality


Background: Colostomy is a resuscitative procedure in paediatric surgical practice. In critical patients, mortality may be high, if general anaesthesia is used. Local anaesthesia may be an alternative in this group of neonates. The aim of this article was to evaluate the indications, the technique and outcome of colostomy in neonates under local anaesthesia.

Materials and Methods: A prospective analysis of 38 neonates who had colostomy under local anaesthesia, from July 2008 to September 2011, in our centre.

Results: There were 34 boys and 4 girls. The median age was 4 days (range 2–11 days),and all presented in a critical state. The indication for colostomy was anorectal malformation 37 (97.4%) and colonic atresia 1 (2.6%). Colostomy: sigmoid 7 (18.4%), descending 29 (76.3%), transverse 2 (5.3%). The median duration of the procedure was 45 minutes (range 30–60 minutes). The hospital stay was 7–15 days (median 7 days) and cost of treatment 7000–7500 Naira (median 7500 Naira = $50). There were 5 (13.2%) early complications, namely, skin excoriation 2, superficial site infection 2, and bowel evisceration 1; mortality was 2 (5.3%). The late complications were stomal stenosis 1 (2.6%), colostomy diarrhoea 2 (5.3%), and parastomal hernia 2 (5.3%). 25 (65.7%) had colostomy takedown and 13 (34%) were yet to have colostomy takedown. Follow-up was for 1–2 years. None of the patients had a permanent colostomy.

Conclusion: Colostomy in neonates under local anaesthesia is feasible, safe and cost-effective. The outcome is good and may be used when neonatal anaesthetic expertise and intensive care facilities are lacking.

Key words: Colostomy, local anaesthesia, mortality


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eISSN: 0189-6725