Management of enteroatmospheric fistulae in the open abdomen

Am Surg. 2010 Jun;76(6):637-9.


There are few complications dreaded more by the general surgeon than the development of an enteroatmospheric fistula in the face of the open abdomen. The open abdomen has become a valuable tool in the treatment of trauma and complex surgical patients. The development of enteroatmospheric fistulae leads to increased cost, morbidity, and mortality. In our case series, we describe the use of Malecot catheters and early mobilization of skin and subcutaneous tissue flaps to manage enteroatmospheric fistulae. All of our patients were discharged from the hospital and did not develop any complications from the procedure. All of our patients' fistulae ultimately closed. This procedure could lead to decreased cost and morbidity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Catheterization
  • Compartment Syndromes / surgery
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestinal Fistula / surgery*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Fistula / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Fistula / surgery
  • Pancreatitis / surgery
  • Skin Transplantation / methods*
  • Surgical Mesh
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed