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ToSCiN is collecting information about babies with stomas and the views of their parents and doctors in order to learn how to find out the best time to close babies’ stomas.


Some babies may require emergency surgery for bowel problems during their first few months of life, where the ends of the bowel may be brought to the skin surface (called a stoma) to divert stool into a bag. The time when a surgeon later reverses or “closes” the stoma varies around the UK and the best time to do it remains unclear.

ToSCiN is a feasibility study investigating whether it would be possible to conduct a clinical trial comparing 'early' vs. 'late' stoma closure in babies.

Our study will take place in six specialist neonatal surgical units across the UK:

  • We are asking parents and health professionals for their views and whether they would take part in a future trial
  • We are collecting information about babies who have recently had a stoma to find out which factors influence the timing of closure
  • We are analysing data from existing databases (the National Neonatal Research Database, the Health Episode Statistics dataset, and the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons Congenital Anomalies Surveillance System) to estimate the numbers of babies with a stoma formed and understand current practice and outcomes for these babies

We will put this information together to help us decide whether a clinical trial is possible.

Find out more