Percutaneous abscess drainage was performed in 21 patients who had periappendiceal abscesses. Fifteen patients had de novo abscesses, while six patients had persistent postsurgical abscesses. Nineteen of the 21 percutaneous drainages were successful. After percutaneous abscess drainage, interval appendectomy was simple and uneventful in all 14 patients in whom it was performed; four patients had appendices removed prior to percutaneous abscess drainage, and three elderly patients have not required appendectomy (follow-up 1 1/2-3 1/2 years). Percutaneous catheter drainage of periappendiceal abscess performed with computed tomographic guidance is effective and safe. Its benefits include imaging demonstration of the abscess; avoidance of an operation for abscess drainage; temporization of extremely ill patients; simplification of appendectomy, which is made elective; obviation of all operations in selected patients (e.g., elderly or with cardiopulmonary disease); and reduction of hospital stay and cost.