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Information for Parents

Necrotising Enterocolitis ( NEC)

  • What is this disease?

    • NEC is a very serious illness in which the intestine (gut) become inflamed and may become black and necrotic, which can lead to a perforation (hole) developing which allows the contents of the intestine to leak into the abdomen (tummy). This can lead to dangerous infection and some babies will die from NEC. NEC can be difficult to diagnose but the symptoms tend to include general signs of illness, problems feeding, and a swollen and tender abdomen. NEC is the most common surgical emergency in newborn babies and tends to affect more babies born prematurely than those born full-term.

  • How it is diagnosed?

    • It is clinically suspected in premature neonates with abdominal distention, sepsis, a low platelets and blood or black stools.

  • How it is treated?

    • The initial management is supportive by NICU team. Surgery is required in following situations

      • Perforation of intestine

      • Do not respond to the medical treatment

      • Strictures in intestine.

  • When it should be operated?

    • The surgery for NEC in indicted cases is an emergency and should be done after proper stabilisation of child..

  • Are there other alternative methods of treatment?

    • Initial management is medical. However surgery is needed in above mentioned situation.

  • What all I need to know before my child surgery?

    • Read “All you need to know before your child's surgery” information booklet in website.

  • How is the surgery done?

    • Exploratory laparotomy is done and the pediatric surgeon may remove any parts of the intestine where tissue has died. The amount removed can vary, but the surgeons will leave as much of the intestine as possible. The surgeons may need to create an artificial way of disposing of waste matter, called a ‘stoma’.

  • Remarks

    • For more details of surgery, contact your surgeon

  • Related Photographs and videos

    • Few photographs of steps done by me and video link is given here for learning purposes