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Open access

Jakub Kenig, Piotr Richter and Marcin Barczyński


The umbilical area can present with a variety of signs associated with an intra abdominal malignancy. An umbilical/paraumbilical hernia might itself be a sign of an internal malignancy. The correlation between the presence of an umbilical/paraumbilical hernia and an intra abdominal malignancy has been previously based only on case reports. The aim of the study was to evaluate the significance of an umbilical/paraumbilical hernia as a symptom of an intraabdominal malignancy. Material and methods. A retrospective analysis was performed; review of the medical records of 145 patients (113 female and 32 male; mean age 66.4±11.9) with an umbilical/paraumbilical hernia treated during the period of 2005-2013. Twenty-three patients (15.9%) were diagnosed with an intra abdominal malignancy; 34% were in the age group over 75 years of age. Results. The most common malignancies were: colorectal cancer, followed by pancreatic cancer, and cancers of the adnexa and kidneys. The patients with a concomitant malignancy identified were significantly older than those without a malignancy. In 65% of patients, the diagnosis was made postoperatively. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that age, the presence of preoperative symptoms, anemia, and weight loss were independent risk factors for concomitant abdominal cancer. Conclusion. The findings of this study support intensive preoperative diagnostic evaluation of elderly patients that are qualified for surgery for an umbilical/paraumbilical hernia. This is particularly important because most of these patients had a small/medium hernia orifice, which did not allow for accurate manual abdominal exploration. Currently, the routine preoperative diagnostic evaluation is often insufficient for an accurate diagnosis

Open access

Michał Romaniszyn, Piotr Richter, Piotr Walega, Jakub Kenig, Marcin Nowak and Wojciech Nowak

Low-Anterior-Resection Syndrome. How Does Neoadjuvant Radiotherapy and Low Resection of the Rectum Influence the Function of Anal Sphincters in Patients with Rectal Cancer? Preliminary Results of a Functional Assessment Study

The aim of the study was to assess the influence of neoadjuvant radiotherapy and resection of the rectum on the functional parameters of anal sphincters.

Material and methods. 20 patients with rectal cancer, qualified for low anterior rectal resection with neoadjuvant radiotherapy were enrolled in the study group. The study protocol included an anorectal manometry, electromyography and fecal incontinence questionnaire (FISI) before radiotherapy, after radiotherapy, and after the operation.

Results. Of the 20 patients 12 were included in the final analysis, because 8 patients were re-qualified to abdomino-perineal resection of the rectum after neoadjuvant treatment. There were no significant changes in anal pressures assessed 5 to 8 days after radiotherapy. In 3 cases (25%) pathological changes in RAIR reflex were found in the manometric examination. After low anterior resection mean basal anal pressures were significantly lower, whereas squeeze anal pressures did not change significantly. In 7 patients (58%) the RAIR reflex was pathological or even absent after low anterior resection. Changes in manometric parameters correlated with FISI incontinence assessment after the operation. In electromyographic examination action potentials of motoric units of the external anal sphincter were still present both after radiotherapy, and after operation.

Conclusions. Fecal incontinence after low anterior resection of the rectum seems to be caused mostly by changes in autonomic functionality of anal sphincters and lack of compliance of the neorectum, since the influence of neoadjuvant radiotherapy and the operation itself on the somatic innervation of anal sphincters seems to be minimal.

Open access

Jakub Kenig, Piotr Richter, Sabina Żurawska, Anna Lasek, Katarzyna Zbierska and W. Nowak


Described in the literature dehiscence rate in the adult population is 0.3-3.5%, and in the elderly group as much as 10%. In about 20-45% evisceration becomes a significant risk factor of death in the perioperative period.

The aim of the study was to identify the main risk factors for abdominal wound dehiscence in the adult population.

Material and methods. The study included patients treated in the 3rd Department of General Surgery, Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum in Cracow in the period from January 2008 to December 2011, in which at that time laparotomy was performed and was complicated by wound dehiscence in the postoperative period. For each person in a research group, 3-4 control patient were selected. Selection criteria were corresponding age (± 2-3 years), gender, underlying disease and type of surgery performed.

Results. In 56 patients (2.9%) dehiscence occurred in the postoperative period with 25% mortality. The group consisted of 37 men and 19 women with the mean age of 66.8 ± 12.6 years. Univariate analysis showed that chronic steroids use, surgical site infection, anastomotic dehiscence/fistula in the postoperative period and damage to the gastrointestinal tract are statistically significant risk factors for dehiscence. Two first of these factors occurred to be independent risk factors in the multivariate analysis. In addition, due to the selection criteria, a group of risk factors should also include male gender, emergency operation, midline laparotomy, colorectal syrgery and elderly age (> 65 years). Logistic regression analysis did not show that a particular surgeon, time of surgery or a particular month (including holiday months) were statistically significant risk factor for dehiscence.

Conclusions. Wound dehiscence is a serious complication with relatively small incidence but also high mortality. Preoperative identification of risk factors allows for a more informed consent before patient’s treatment and to take measures to prevent or minimize the consequences of complication associated with it.

Open access

Anna Kot, Jakub Kenig and Piotr Wałęga


Demographic changes associated with the aging population mean that surgeons increasingly have contact and make decisions about treating patients from the oldest age groups.

The aim of the study was to review the literature concerning the treatment of acute appendicitis in patients over the age of 60 years old.

Material and methods. A review of the literature published in the years 2000-2015 has been carried out using the PubMed database. The initial number of results corresponding to the query in English, „appendicitis (MeSH) AND elderly (MeSH)” was 260. Selection based on the titles, abstracts, and eventually whole articles, ultimately resulted in 11 papers concerning the treatment of appendicitis in patients above 60 years of age.

Results. Nine papers were retrospective and 2 were prospective. In total, the studies included 82,852 patients. Laparoscopic appendectomy was associated with a lower mortality rate, a smaller number of postoperative complications and a shorter length of hospital stay, which led to it being recommended by most authors. Four of the ten papers demonstrated that the patients who were qualified for laparoscopic surgery had less comorbidity and were in a lower ASA (American Society of Anaesthesiology) category. Antibiotic therapy as an independent method was assessed in one study in a group of elderly people, on a selected group of 26 patients, and its effectiveness was shown to be 70%. Most studies, however, are highly heterogeneous which significantly hindered comparisons.

Conclusions. Currently, laparoscopic appendectomy seems to be the treatment of choice in the elderly with acute appendicitis. Antibiotic therapy, as an independent method of treatment of acute appendicitis, cannot currently be recommended. However, further, prospective, and better-designed studies are needed, involving a larger number of patients, and primarily dedicated to the elderly.

Open access

Mateusz Rubinkiewicz, Jakub Kenig, Katarzyna Zbierska and Anna Lasek


Mechanical obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract is one of the most common causes of the emergency surgical intervention. A rare cause of such condition might be the effect of the external pressure on the intestine exerted by i. e. tumor, lymph node package, aneurysm of the abdominal aorta. An extremely rare cause is the pressure of the large loose mass located in the peritoneal cavity called “loose body”. We present a case of the mechanical bowel obstruction caused by a giant loose autoamputated leiomyoma of the uterus lying free in the peritoneal cavity. According to our best knowledge it is the largest described loose body in the literature. Moreover, we present a literature review regarding this issue.

Open access

Jakub Kenig, Piotr Richter and Katarzyna Żanowska

Open access

Jakub Kenig, Piotr Richter, Beata Żychiewicz and Urszula Olszewska


The Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13) is a simple function based frailty screening tool that can be also administered by the nonclinical personnel within 5 minutes and has been validated in the out- and in patient clinic and acute medical care settings.

The aim of the study was to validate theaccuracy of the VES-13 screening method for predicting the frailty syndrome based on a CGA in polish surgical patients.

Material and methods. We included prospectively 106 consecutive patients ≥65, that qualify for abdominal surgery (both due to oncological and benign reasons), at the tertiary referral hospital.We evaluated the diagnostic performance of VES-13 score comparing to the results from the CGA, accepted as the gold standard for identifying at risk frail elderly patients.

Results. The prevalence of frailty as diagnosed by CGA was 59.4%. There was significantly higher number of frail patients in the oncological group (78% vs. 31%; p<0.01). According to the frailty screening methods, the frailty prevalence was 45.3%. The VES-13 score had a 60% sensitivity and 78% specificity in detecting frailty syndrome. The positive and negative predictive value was 81% and 57%, respectively. The overall predictive capacity was intermediate (AUC=0.69)

Conclusions. At present, the VES-13 screening tool for older patients cannot replace the comprehensive geriatric assessment; this is due to the insufficient discriminative power to select patients for further assessment. It might be helpful in a busy clinical practice and in facilities that do not have trained personal for geriatric assessment.

Open access

Jakub Kenig, Piotr Richter and Łukasz Sikora

Open access

Katarzyna Zbierska, Jakub Kenig, Anna Lasek, Mateusz Rubinkiewicz and Piotr Wałęga


Acute appendicitis (AA) still remains the most common acute surgical abdominal emergency. Although 90% of cases occur in children and young adults, the incidence in the elderly amounts up to 10% and is constantly rising.

The aim of the study was to assess the differences between clinical presentation in the elderly patients with AA compared to the younger patients. Additional aim was to assess the correlation between in-hospital time delays and patients’ outcomes.

Material and methods. We conducted a retrospective analysis of medical data of 274 patients admitted to 3rd Department of General Surgery in Cracow between January 2011 and December 2013 due to AA. The elderly group comprised 23 patients aged 65 and above and the non-elderly group consisted of 251 patients.

Results. The groups did not differ in symptoms and their duration, type of surgery and its duration. However, time from admission to ED to the beginning of the procedure was significantly lower in the elderly group (575.56 vs 858.9 min; p=0.03). The elderly had longer hospital stay (6.08 vs 4.69 days; p=0.004). In the elderly group the perforation rate was close to reaching statistical significance (26.1% vs 12.4%; p=0.06). No mortality was noted in both groups and morbidity was slightly higher in elderly group (17.4% vs 10%; p=0.26).

Conclusions. There was no difference in the clinical presentation between elderly and non-elderly patients group. However, elderly patients presented with a more progressed inflammation of the appendix. The hospital stay was longer in the elderly group, without any mortality and with higher rate of morbidity in this group. The length of the preoperative phase was significantly shorter, confirming the awareness of importance of time in the elderly patients with acute abdomen.