A differentiated approach to repeat small-bowel anastomoses in patients with postoperative peritonitis: a prospective cohort study

  • Andrey N. ZharikovEmail author
  • Vladimir G. Lubyansky
  • Andrey A. Zharikov
Original Article



Postoperative peritonitis still remains the cause of a high mortality rate in emergency abdominal surgery. Here we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of different surgical strategies for small-bowel perforations that resulted in postoperative peritonitis.


Surgical management results for 140 patients with postoperative peritonitis due to small-bowel perforations, necrosis and anastomotic leakage were comparatively analyzed. Using the APACHE-II and MPI scoring systems, different surgeon attitudes were examined in three patient groups (primary anastomosis, delayed anastomosis, and enterostomy).


The surgical approach in patient group I (n = 47, APACHE-II 11.7 ± 1.2, MPI 14.7 ± 1.3) involved the closure of small-bowel perforations or small-bowel resection to place primary anastomosis. The mortality rate was 17%. Patient group II (n = 48, APACHE-II 16.8 ± 0.7, MPI 19.3 ± 0.3) underwent delayed small-bowel anastomosis during planned relaparotomies. The mortality rate was 18.8%. Because patients in patient group III (n = 45, APACHE-II 22.3 ± 1.3, MPI 24.6 ± 1.2) were in very critical condition, anastomoses were not placed after bowel resection, and the surgical procedure was completed with enterostomy. The highest mortality rate of 37.8% was documented in this patient group.


The differentiated surgical approach undertaken herein using delayed small-bowel anastomosis in more serious patients with postoperative peritonitis was able to mitigate the risk of recurrent anastomotic leaks and was not accompanied by a considerable rise in mortality. The mortality for primary repair and delayed primary closure was basically the same (17.0% and 18.8%, p = 0.03); however, delayed anastomosis in the patients with postoperative peritonitis at higher APACHE-II and MPI scores for severity of illness showed 15.1% less complications in the form of anastomotic leaks (p = 0.04).


Postoperative peritonitis Small-bowel anastomotic leakage Nontraumatic small-bowel perforation Delayed anastomosis Primary anastomosis 



This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Altai State Medical University and informed consent was obtained from all patients who agreed to participate in the study. All the Ethics Committee members (100%) unanimously approved this study.

Research registration unique identifying number (UIN) ID: NCT03690687.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Neymark Departmental Surgery and Hospital SurgeryAltai State Medical UniversityBarnaulRussia

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