Management Strategies for the Open Abdomen Following Damage Control Laparotomy

Daniel Lammers*, Jeff Conner, Omar Rokayak, Stephanie Rakestraw, Ronald D. Hardin, Steven C. Gillis, Rondi Gelbard, Richard Betzold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: The resultant open abdomen following damage control laparotomy can present a challenging clinical scenario. Management strategies remain critically important to optimize patient recovery and mitigate long-term morbidities. Recent Findings: The summation of recent data is largely limited to low-quality evidence, case series, and expert opinions on the optimal treatment strategies for patients with an open abdomen. Although a myriad of techniques have been studied in elective patients, there remains a paucity of data surrounding open abdominal closure. Recent guidelines from the European Hernia Society and the World Society of Emergency Surgery are limited based on the lack of high-quality data available. Summary: High-quality data surrounding optimal treatment strategies for the open abdomen is lacking. Early primary fascial closure represents the strategy of choice; however, when not possible, temporary abdominal closure with negative pressure therapy should be performed. Sequential dynamic closure techniques allow for improved outcomes when complete abdominal closure is not possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Trauma Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdominal closure
  • Damage control laparotomy
  • Open abdomen
  • Temporary abdominal closure
  • Trauma laparotomy


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