What is the most common cause of postoperative peritonitis?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
  • Print

The most common cause of postoperative peritonitis is anastomotic leak, with symptoms generally appearing around postoperative days 5-7. After elective abdominal operations for noninfectious etiologies, the incidence of SP (caused by anastomotic disruption, breakdown of enterotomy closures, or inadvertent bowel injury) should be less than 2%. Operations for inflammatory disease (ie, appendicitis, diverticulitis, cholecystitis) without perforation carry a risk of less than 10% for the development of SP and peritoneal abscess. This risk may rise to greater than 50% in gangrenous bowel disease and visceral perforation.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!