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Postoperative epidural abscess after spinal anaesthesia for a circumcision necessitated by phimosis
  1. Sjaak Pouwels1,2,
  2. Darryl M Coll3,4,
  3. Alexander G J van Marle1,2
  1. 1Department of Surgery, Franciscus Vlietland, Schiedam
  2. 2Department of Surgery, Franciscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam
  3. 3Department of Anesthesiology, Franciscus Gasthuis, Rotterdam
  4. 4Department of Anesthesiology, Franciscus Vlietland, Schiedam
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sjaak Pouwels, sjaakpwls{at}


A 70-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for a penile circumcision due to phimosis using continuous dose spinal anaesthesia. On postoperative day 10 he came to the emergency department with a superficial abscess localised at the injection site of the spinal catheter. He was treated with intravenous antibiotics for 10 days, and the superficial abscess was incised and drained. Ten days later, the patient was readmitted to the emergency department with complaints of back pain and fever. A repeat MRI scan of his lumbar sacral area was done and showed epidural abscesses without any compression of the medulla or the myelum. The patient did not have any signs of spinal cord or nerve root compression at that time. He was treated with intravenous antibiotics with resolution of symptoms.

  • anaesthesia
  • pain
  • sedation
  • circumcision
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  • Contributors All authors (SP, DMC and AGJvM) drafted, wrote and gave final approval for the manuscript.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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