Management of the open abdomen: from initial operation to definitive closure.

Andre Campbell, Michael Chang, Timothy Fabian, Michael Franz, Mark Kaplan, Frederick Moore, R. Lawrence Reed, Bradford Scott, Ronald Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The open abdomen is a relatively new and increasingly common strategy for the management of abdominal emergencies in both trauma and general surgery. The use of an abbreviated laparotomy can reduce mortality associated with conditions such as abdominal compartment syndrome; however, the resulting open abdomen is a complex clinical problem. Modern techniques and technologies are now available that allow for improved management of the open abdomen and the progressive reduction of the fascial defect. Indeed, recent evidence indicates that a large proportion of patients treated with open abdomen can now be closed within the initial hospitalization. These techniques and technologies include the appropriate use of negative pressure therapy and synthetic or biologic repair materials. It is essential that general and trauma surgeons understand the core principles underlying the need for and management of the open abdomen. Toward this goal, an Open Abdomen Advisory Panel was established to identify core principles in the management of the open abdomen and to develop a set of recommendations based on the best available evidence. This review presents the principles and recommendations identified by the Open Abdomen Advisory Panel and provides brief case studies for the illustration of these concepts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number11 Suppl
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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