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Cut throat zone II neck injury and advantage of a feeding jejunostomy

Author(s): Darlong Laleng | Shunyu Neizekhotuo | Das Rubul | Mallik Saikat

Journal: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
ISSN 0974-2700

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 213;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Feeding jejunostomy | nerve injuries | zone II neck injury

Penetrating neck injuries account for 5-10% of trauma cases and are potentially life threatening. We report a case of cut- throat zone II neck injury in a 45-year-old male extending up to posterior pharyngeal wall and exposing the underlying cervical vertebra. Tracheostomy was done and wound repair was started from the posterior aspect in layers using 3-0 Vicryl. Intraoperatively, a conscious decision was taken for a feeding jejunostomy for postoperative feeding, which was likely to be prolonged, in view of sensory-nerve damage along the transected pharynx. Prolonged use of Nasogastric tube for postoperative feeding was thus avoided and the discomfort, risk of aspiration and foreign body at injury site eliminated. One week postoperative, the patient experienced severe bouts of coughing and restlessness on oral intake; during this period enteral nutrition was maintained through feeding jejunostomy. At the time of discharge at 1 month, the patient was accepting normal diet orally and was detubated and vocalizing normally. We conclude that postoperative nutrition is an important area to be considered for deep neck wound with nerve injuries due to delayed tolerance to oral feeding till the regeneration of sensory nerves. A feeding jejunostomy or feeding gastrostomy performed simultaneously in such patients with nerve injuries is far superior over nasogastric-tube feeding when prolonged postoperative feeding is expected.
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