Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report results from a survey of members of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) on strategies for management of the open abdomen. Material and methods: Invitations to participate in a web-based survey were sent to AAST members via email. Main results: The response rate was 26%. For 74% of surgeons surveyed, the number of cases treated per year has increased over the last 10 years. The abdomen is left open for damage control (46% of respondents) and abdominal organ distention (22%). Most respondents use the vacuum pack system to temporarily close the abdomen (57%) and a smaller proportion use a bogota bag (18%). Ventilatory failure was the most frequent complication (72%) and elderly patients have the worse outcome. Significant conclusions: Given the lack of consensus regarding optimal management strategies for the open abdomen, there is a need for prospective, multi-institutional studies to evaluate therapeutic approaches to treat this challenging problem.
- Abdominal compartment syndrome
- Damage control laparotomy
- Open abdomen
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