Image-guided percutaneous drainage for treatment of post-surgical anastomotic leak in patients with Crohn's disease

James Byrne, Ryan Stephens, Ari Isaacson, Hyeon Yu, Charles Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aims: Anastomotic leaks with abscess formation are a common complication after bowel surgery in Crohn's disease patients. Image-guided percutaneous drainage is an attractive alternative to reoperation because of decreased morbidity and length of hospital stay. Because data for this specific population are scarce, the purpose of this study is to determine the safety and efficacy of image-guided percutaneous drainage in the management of post-surgical anastomotic leak in patients with Crohn's disease. Methods: A total of 41 patients who underwent percutaneous drain placement for the treatment of fluid collections due to anastomotic leak from September 2004 to November 2013 were retrospectively identified from the electronic medical record and picture archiving and communication system. Data recorded included number, size, and location of anastomotic leaks, number of drains placed, number of follow-up visits, post-drainage complications, abscess resolution, and subsequent surgeries. Results: In all, 41 patients with 76 fluid collections were identified as having received percutaneous drains. The mean number of targeted fluid collections per patient was 1.5, and the mean duration between surgery and percutaneous drain placement was 18.5 days. The mean number of drains placed was 1.6, and the median drain size was 10 French [range 8-16 French]. One of 41 [2.4%] patients experienced a minor complication from drain placement [injury to a superficial abdominal artery] and no major complications occurred. Two of 41 [4.9%] patients required repeat surgeries. Conclusions: Image-guided percutaneous drainage for the treatment of post-surgical anastomotic leaks in Crohn's patients is effective and safe, with low rates of complications and reoperations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Crohn's disease
  • abscess
  • anastomotic leak
  • bowel surgery
  • percutaneous drainage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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