Outcomes following surgical interventions for congenital anomalies
Project Leader: Dr Benjamin Allin, Academic Clinical Fellow
Benjamin's research is based in the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit and is focussed on the development of evidence-based paediatric surgery. The main focus has been through the BAPS-CASS (British Association of Paediatric Surgeons-Congenital Anomalies Surveillance System) program, looking at medium-term outcomes following oesophageal atresia and trachea-oesophageal fistula repair. Results from a National Cohort study which the team conducted have been presented at an international meeting, and a manuscript is currently under review for publication. From the results of the cohort study, they identified that many surgeons are prescribing prophylactic anti-reflux medication with the aim of reducing the rate of post-operative oesophageal stricture formation. It would appear however that despite this practice being widely employed, it is ineffective. With the recent identification that use of ranitidine increases both the rate of necrotising enterocolitis and mortality in low-birth weight infants, there is now a great need to determine whether or not the use of anti-reflux medication is beneficial following oesophageal atresia repair. As a result, they are planning to perform a pilot randomised controlled trial looking at the effect of prophylactic anti-reflux medication on oesophageal stricture formation following oesophageal atresia repair, and this will hopefully form one arm of Benjamin’s PhD.
Alongside this work, Benjamin has completed a couple of systematic reviews, looking at the management of gastroschisis and Hirschsprung’s disease, respectively, and published work looking at combined intestinal and abdominal wall transplantation. He hopes to convert the Hirschsprung’s disease study into a Cochrane review in the not too distant future.