Symptomatic resolution of malignant bowel obstruction by endoscopic catheterisation of an enterocutaneous fistula

BMJ Case Rep. 2022 Feb 28;15(2):e246910. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2021-246910.


Patients with advanced intra-abdominal malignancy frequently experience nausea and vomiting, however these symptoms can be difficult to manage. A woman in her seventies with high grade primary peritoneal adenocarcinoma developed intermittent small bowel obstruction following extensive surgery. Poor relief was provided by pharmacological approaches and nasogastric tube insertion. Further surgical management was deemed unsuitable due to the significant possibility of complications and likely impairment of the patient's quality of life. A conservative approach was used by using a novel therapeutic intervention: an endoscope was used to visualise an enterocutaneous fistula tract proximal to the obstruction and a gastrostomy catheter was fluoroscopically inserted. This maintained fistula tract patency, permitting drainage of bowel contents and therefore resolving the patient's symptoms. We therefore describe a novel therapeutic approach where endoscopic insertion of a gastrostomy catheter maintained patency of an enterocutaneous fistula, enabling lasting relief of bowel obstruction in a manner acceptable to the patient.

Keywords: endoscopy; gastrointestinal surgery; general surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Gastrostomy / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Fistula* / complications
  • Intestinal Fistula* / surgery
  • Intestinal Obstruction* / etiology
  • Intestinal Obstruction* / surgery
  • Quality of Life