European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 251–258

Enterocutaneous fistulas: an overview

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00068-011-0097-2

Cite this article as:
Whelan, J.F. & Ivatury, R.R. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg (2011) 37: 251. doi:10.1007/s00068-011-0097-2


Enterocutaneous fistulas remain a difficult management problem. The basis of management centers on the prevention and treatment of sepsis, control of fistula effluent, and fluid and nutritional support. Early surgery should be limited to abscess drainage and proximal defunctioning stoma formation. Definitive procedures for a persistent fistula are indicated in the late postoperative period, with resection of the fistula segment and reanastomosis of healthy bowel. Even more complex are the enteroatmospheric fistulas in the open abdomen. These enteric fistulas require the highest level of multidisciplinary approach for optimal outcomes.


Enteric fistulaGastrointestinal fistulaEnteroatmospheric fistulaBowel fistulasOpen abdomen

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA