Outcome and management of postoperative enterocutaneous fistula


  • Dinesh Chandra Sharma Department of Surgery, S.M.S. Medical College and attach group of hospitals, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Gaurav Jalendra Department of Surgery, S.M.S. Medical College and attach group of hospitals, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Pugazhenthi M. Department of Surgery, S.M.S. Medical College and attach group of hospitals, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Amit Kumar Department of Surgery, S.M.S. Medical College and attach group of hospitals, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India




Enterocutaneous fistula, Nutritional support, Serum albumin, Sepsis


Background: Approximately 75% of enterocutaneous fistula (ECF) occur following surgery. Due to the high morbidity and mortality associated with ECF, prompt and effective treatment is important. This study was conducted to study the outcome and management of patients with enterocutaneous fistula.

Methods: Total 40 patients developing the enterocutaneous fistula following surgery were included. All patients were treated either conservatively or operatively by various means and varying period of time. Treatment was focused on the correction of dehydration, controlling sepsis, management of electrolyte imbalance and nutritional support.

Results: Overall 40 patients were included in this observational study, comprising 26 were males and 14 were females. About 97.5% of ECF were postoperative. Ileum was found to be the most common site of ECF. Also, 42.5% of fistulas were high output and 57.5% were low output. Serum albumin levels correlated significantly with fistula healing and mortality. Surgical intervention was required in 37.5% of patients.

Conclusions: Conservative management with emphasis on improvement of nutrition, control of sepsis, management of fluid and electrolyte balance and control of fistula output is first line of management. Operative intervention must be done in selectively after cases after aggressive and targeted measures for improvement of nutritional status and control of infection.


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