Current management of enterocutaneous fistula

J Gastrointest Surg. 2006 Mar;10(3):455-64. doi: 10.1016/j.gassur.2005.08.001.


Enterocutaneous fistulas, defined as abnormal communications between bowel and skin, are among the most challenging conditions managed by the general surgeon. In an era when the mortality from pancreaticoduodenectomy is less than 3%, the mortality of enterocutaneous fistulas remains 10 to 30% due to the often-present complications of sepsis, malnutrition, and electrolyte abnormalities. Taking advantage of recent advances in techniques of pre- and post-surgical management and support, employing a multidisciplinary team approach, and executing a well-delineated management plan provide the patient and surgeon with the best possibility of success in treating this potentially devastating condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cutaneous Fistula / complications
  • Cutaneous Fistula / etiology
  • Cutaneous Fistula / mortality
  • Cutaneous Fistula / surgery*
  • Drainage
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Fistula / complications
  • Intestinal Fistula / etiology
  • Intestinal Fistula / mortality
  • Intestinal Fistula / surgery*
  • Nutritional Support
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance