A number of clinical and laboratory findings may be found in a patient with a leaking colonic anastomosis.


Clinical findings:

(1) abdominal pain

(2) fever

(3) signs of peritonitis (rebound tenderness, etc)

(4) tachycardia

(5) purulent and/or feculent drainage

(6) gross enteric spillage with peritonitis noted at reoperation

(7) anastomotic breakdown at reoperation


Laboratory findings:

(1) leukocytosis

(2) positive bacterial cultures of drainage or from blood


Imaging studies:

(1) fluid collections within the abdomen

(2) leakage of contrast material


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