P639 Percutaneous drainage vs surgery as definitive treatment for anastomotic leak after intestinal resection in patients with Crohn’s disease.

Belvedere, A.(1)*;Dajti, G.(1);Larotonda, C.(1);Angelicchio, L.(1);Rizzello, F.(2);Gionchetti, P.(2);Poggioli, G.(1);Rottoli, M.(1);

(1)IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Bologna- Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Bologna, Italy;(2)IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Bologna- Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, IBD unit, Bologna, Italy;


Anastomotic leak remains one of the most relevant complications after intestinal resection for Crohn’s disease (CD). While surgery has always been considered the standard treatment for perianastomotic abscess or collection, percutaneous drainage (PD) has been proposed as a potential alternative.

The aim of this study was therefore to compare the success rate of percutaneous drainage with that of surgery for the management of anastomotic leak in CD patients.


Retrospective, single-centre study including all consecutive patients who were diagnosed with an anastomotic leak as a complication of intestinal resection for CD between 2004 and 2022. Patients requiring emergency surgery due to generalised peritonitis or clinical instability were excluded. Anastomotic leak was defined as a perianastomotic fluid collection confirmed by radiological findings within 30 days from surgery. Patients underwent either PD or surgery as a primary treatment for the complication. The success after PD was defined as the removal of the drainage with clinical and radiological resolution of the complication. The need for further surgical treatment was considered as a failure in both groups.

Primary aim: to compare the success rate of PD vs surgery. Secondary aims: to compare the outcomes at 90 days after the procedures; to identify the variables associated with the indication to PD.


Among the 47 patients included, 25 (53%) underwent PD and 22 (47%) surgery. Table 1 shows the outcomes by the procedure.

Success rate was 84% in PD and 95% in surgery group (p=0.20). The median time to success was 14 days after PD (drainage removal) and 12.5 days after surgery (discharge) (p=0.92). Similar rates of post-procedure medical (12% vs 18%, p=0.55) and surgical (24% vs 36%, p=0.62) complications were shown. An ileostomy was required in 91% of surgery cases. At 90 days, similar rates of discharges (100% vs 95%, p=0.28), readmissions (8% vs 0%, p=0.18) and reoperations (16% vs 9%, p=0.48) were observed between PD and surgery cases, respectively.  

In the multivariate analysis (Table 2), PD was more likely to be performed in patients whose anastomotic leak was diagnosed later after surgery (OR 1.25, 95%CI 1.03-1.53, p=0.027), in those who underwent an ileo-colic anastomosis alone (OR 3.72, 95%CI 2.29-12.45, p=0.034) and in those who were treated after 2016 (OR 6.36, 95%CI 1.04-39.03, p=0.046).


The present study confirms that PD is a safe and effective procedure to treat anastomotic leak and perianastomotic abscess in CD patients. Surgery, in particular, is associated with a high risk of stoma formation, which would require a subsequent operation. PD should be indicated in all eligible patients as an effective alternative to surgery.