Standardized algorithms for management of anastomotic leaks and related abdominal and pelvic abscesses after colorectal surgery

R. Phitayakorn, C. P. Delaney, H. L. Reynolds, B. J. Champagne, A. G. Heriot, P. Neary, A. J. Senagore, P. Ambrosetti, C. Bailey, R. P. Billingham, M. Braga, W. D. Buie, A. W. Darzi, P. R. Douglas, E. J. Dozois, N. S. Fearnhead, F. A. Frizelle, S. L. Gearhart, Q. H. Gonzalez, J. R. HaagaG. J. Harris, A. F. Horgan, P. G. Horgan, H. Kehlet, S. H. Kim, A. M. Lacy, J. Leroy, F. López-Kostner, K. A. Ludwig, J. Marks, A. J. Megibow, J. I. Merlino, J. R. Monson, R. W. Motson, D. A. Nakamoto, G. L. Newstead, P. R. O'Connell, Y. Panis, F. Penninckx, A. Rajput, F. Seow Choen, M. J. Stamos, A. Vignali, S. D. Wexner, K. S. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Background: The risk factors and incidence of anastomotic leak following colorectal surgery are well reported in the literature. However, the management of the multiple clinical scenarios that may be encountered has not been standardized. Methods: The medical literature from 1973 to 2007 was reviewed using PubMed for papers relating to anastomotic leaks and abdominal abscess, with a specific emphasis on predisposing factors, prevention strategies, and treatment approaches. A six-round modified Delphi research method was utilized to find consensus among a group of expert colorectal surgeons and interventional radiologists regarding standardized management algorithms for anastomotic leaks. Results: Management scenarios were divided into those for intraperitoneal anastomoses, extraperitoneal (low pelvic) anastomoses, and anastomoses with proximal diverting stomas. Management options were then based on the clinical presentation and radiographic findings and organized into three interconnected algorithms. Conclusions: This process was a useful first step toward establishing guidelines for the management of anastomotic leak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1156
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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