Objective: To evaluate the postoperative complication rate associated with jejunostomy tubes (J-tubes) placed using the interlocking box (ILB) technique, and to test whether the ILB technique offers the advantage of early tube removal without additional complications in comparison with other jejunopexy methods.
Design: Retrospective study.
Setting: Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Measurements and main results: Seventy dogs and 6 cats had J-tubes placed during 1999–2003. Fifty-three tubes were placed using the ILB technique and 23 tubes were placed using a non-ILB technique. The overall tube-related complication rate was 33/76 (43.4%). The complication rate was slightly, but not significantly, lower in the ILB group (40% versus 52%; P= 0.556). In the majority of cases, (24/76, 31.5%), complications were considered mild. Moderate complications were noted in 4/76 cases (5.2%) and severe complications in 5/76 cases (6.5%). The mean time the tube remained in place and the mean time of tube usage were significantly shorter in the ILB group (5.2 versus 7.6 days, P=0.008, and 3.3 versus 5.8 days, P=0.013, respectively). Hospitalization time was also significantly shorter in the ILB group (mean of 8.1 days versus 10.5 days, P=0.014). The shorter period of tube presence in the ILB group did not result in an increase of the overall complication rate; however, inflammation around the tube exit site was more prevalent in the ILB group. Tubes that were not used for nutritional support in the ILB group stayed in place for a mean of 3.7 days and were removed with no significant complications. More complications were identified in the first 2 years of the study compared with the last 2.
Conclusions: The ILB technique is not associated with a higher complication rate compared with other jejunopexy methods, and offers the advantage of safe, early removal if the tube is no longer needed for nutritional support.