Between January 1, 1984, and June 30, 1987, we performed percutaneous catheter drainage (PCD) of 28 intra-abdominal abscesses in 21 postoperative trauma patients. During this period only three patients had abdominal reexploration for drainage of abdominal abscess. The PCD patients were predominantly young men who had sustained penetrating abdominal injuries (81% GSW or SW; 19% MVA). Seventeen (81%) patients had multiple abdominal organ injuries with the colon being the most frequently injured (57%). Multiple abscesses were identified in 33% of the patients.
All 21 patiants had successful treatment of their abscesses by PCD alone. There was one complication (4.8%) from PCD (pneumothorax) and no deaths in this group. Our data suggest that in most cases, PCD can be safe, effective, and definitive treatment for postoperative intra-abdominal abscesses following abdominal trauma. We recommend PCD in all postoperative trauma patients who develop accessible abdominal abscesses before resorting to re-exploration.
© Williams & Wilkins 1989. All Rights Reserved.