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Management of Enteroatmospheric Fistulae in the Open Abdomen

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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.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, University of Tennessee College of Medicine—Chattanooga Unit, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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