The use of drains in colorectal surgery has been a subject of debate for several decades. Prophylactic drainage of the peritoneal cavity has become less popular in recent years. This change is due to several studies demonstrating that intraperitoneal drains do not adequately drain the peritoneal cavity and do not prevent or contain anastomotic leaks. Percutaneous drain placement has become the standard of care for patients with intra-abdominal abscesses. Selected anastomotic leaks in the stable patient can also be managed with percutaneous drains. In this article, the authors review in detail the use of drains and the literature to support their use in our everyday practice.
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