Computerized tomographic scan-guided drainage of intra-abdominal abscesses: Preoperative and postoperative modalities in colon and rectal surgery

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Computerized tomographic (CT) scan-guided percutaneous drainage of intra-abdominal abscesses has changed the colon and rectal surgeon's approach to preoperative and postoperative intra-abdominal infections. This study is an effort to prove the efficacy of CT scan-guided percutaneous drainage.


A retrospective study was performed on 133 patients who underwent CT scan drainage of intra-abdominal abscesses over a 6.3-year period.


67 patients had underlying lower gastrointestinal disease. Twenty-three of these patients (34 percent) had spontaneous abscesses and underwent drainage as a preoperative or final modality, whereas 44 patients (66 percent) were drained postoperatively. In 78 percent of patients, surgery was successfully avoided or delayed. Ten patients had acute diverticulitis associated with a large pelvic abscess. Eight patients underwent successful CT scanguided percutaneous drainage, yielding an 80 percent success rate. Morbidity from the CT scan-guided percutaneous drainage procedure in spontaneous and postoperative groups was 0 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Mortality was 9 percent and 11 percent, respectively, and associated with an elevated Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score.


CT scan-guided percutaneous drainage of intra-abdominal abscesses is an important adjunct to colon and rectal surgery because roughly 80 percent of spontaneous and postoperative abscesses were successfully managed.

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