Relationship between method of anastomosis and anastomotic failure after right hemicolectomy and ileo-caecal resection: an international snapshot audit

T. Pinkney*, N. Battersby, A. Bhangu, S. Chaudhri, A. El-Hussuna, M. Frasson, D. Nepogodiev, B. Singh, S. Vennix, O. Zmora, D. Altomare, W. Bemelman, P. Christensen, A. D'Hoore, S. Laurberg, D. Morton, T. Pinkney, M. Rubbini, C. Vaizey, L. MagillR. Perry, N. Sheward, N. Ives, S. Mehta, M. Cillo, D. Estefania, J. Patron Uriburu, H. Ruiz, M. Salomon, A. Makhmudov, L. Selnyahina, A. Varabei, Y. Vizhynis, D. Claeys, B. Defoort, F. Muysoms, P. Pletinckx, V. Vergucht, I. Debergh, T. Feryn, H. Reusens, M. Nachtergaele, D. Francart, C. Jehaes, S. Markiewicz, B. Monami, J. Weerts, J. Melenhorst, C. van Rossem, V. Klemann, European Soc Coloproctology Collab, Writing Grp ESCP Cohort Studies, Audits Sub-Comm, ESCP Res Comm, Logistical Support Data Collation, Local Investigators

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim The anastomosis technique used following right-sided colonic resection is widely variable and may affect patient outcome. This study aimed to assess the association between leak and anastomosis technique (stapled vs handsewn).

Method This was a prospective, multicentre, international audit including patients undergoing elective or emergency right hemicolectomy or ileo-caecal resection operations over a 2-month period in early 2015. The primary outcome measure was the presence of anastomotic leak within 30 days of surgery, determined using a prespecified definition. Mixed effects logistic regression models were used to assess the association between leak and anastomosis method, adjusting for patient, disease and operative cofactors, with centre included as a random-effect variable.

Results This study included 3208 patients, of whom 78.4% (n = 2515) underwent surgery for malignancy and 11.7% (n = 375) underwent surgery for Crohn's disease. An anastomosis was performed in 94.8% (n = 3041) of patients, which was handsewn in 38.9% (n = 1183) and stapled in 61.1% (n = 1858). Patients undergoing hand-sewn anastomosis were more likely to be emergency admissions (20.5% handsewn vs 12.9% stapled) and to undergo open surgery (54.7% handsewn vs 36.6% stapled). The overall anastomotic leak rate was 8.1% (245/3041), which was similar following handsewn (7.4%) and stapled (8.5%) techniques (P = 0.3). After adjustment for cofactors, the odds of a leak were higher for stapled anastomosis (adjusted OR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.04-1.95; P = 0.03).

Conclusion Despite being used in lower-risk patients, stapled anastomosis was associated with an increased anastomotic leak rate in this observational study. Further research is needed to define patient groups in whom a stapled anastomosis is safe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e296-e311
Number of pages16
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Anastomotic leak
  • colorectal cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • epidemiology
  • international
  • LEAK


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