Patients with advanced ovarian cancer and some patients with advanced endometrial cancer often need repeated drainage for malignant ascites. Guidelines to advise those involved in the drainage of ascites are usually produced locally and are generally not evidence-based but mainly based on clinicians' anecdotal evidence and experience.
We searched for studies that compared different ways of managing the drainage of fluid containing cancer cells that collect in the abdomen in women with a gynaecological cancer. We checked 1664 possible articles but no relevant studies were identified. Therefore there is no evidence in favour of any specific drainage technique for a condition that can severely diminish a patient's QOL at a time when It is especially important that a patient can enjoy a comfortable life as free as possible from problems and symptoms.
The review highlights the need for good quality studies comparing different methods of managing drains.