Percutaneous postoperative intra-abdominal abscess drainage after elective colorectal surgery

M Khurrum Baig, R Hua Zhao, O Batista, J P Uriburu, J J Singh, E G Weiss, J J Nogueras, S D Wexner
Techniques in Coloproctology 2002, 6 (3): 159-64
Intra-abdominal abscesses are a frequent source of morbidity and mortality following both elective and emergent surgery of the alimentary tract. CT-guided percutaneous drainage of intra-abdominal abscess is an alternative to immediate surgical intervention. We studied the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous drainage of intra-abdominal abscesses arising after elective colorectal procedures. We retrospectively identified 40 patients with postoperative intraabdominal abscess following elective colorectal surgery who underwent CT-guided percutaneous drainage with a Von Sonnenberg sump drain between 1990 and 1998. The most common presenting symptoms were pyrexia in 39 (97%), abdominal tenderness in 32 (80%), guarding in 1 (2.5%) and abdominal mass in 3 (7.5%); no patient had generalized peritonitis. The most common index procedure was proctocolectomy with ileoanal anastomosis and ileal Jpouch in 12 (30%) patients. Drainage was performed using an anterior approach in 32 (80%) and a transgluteal window in 8 (20%) patients. Thirty-five (87.5%) patients had a single collection, while 2 (5.0%) patients had 2 collections and 3 (7.5%) patients had 3 collections. Thirteen (32.5%) patients had perioperative steroids, 30 (75%) had preoperative antibiotics, and 40 (100%) had postoperative antibiotics. Follow-up at a mean of 35.8 days revealed complete resolution of abscess in 26 (65%) patients; 14 (35%) patients had residual or recurrent abscess successfully treated by repeat drainage in 8 patients and requiring laparotomy in 6. Percutaneous CT-guided abscess drainage is an effective method for treating intra-abdominal abscess following elective colorectal surgery. The primary success was 65% after the first and 85% after a second drainage. In conclusion, this technique should be considered as the treatment of choice in patients with localized intra-abdominal abscess without signs of generalized peritonitis.

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