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G Chir. 2008 Nov-Dec;29(11-12):505-10.

[Mechanical versus manual anastomoses in colorectal surgery. Personal experience].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1Universita degli Studi di Palermo, Sezione di chirurgia Generale ad Indirizzo Toracico.



The diffusion in the years '80 of the stapler has modified the habits of the surgeons, determining the reduction of the operative time in colorectal surgery and the possibility to operate cancer of lower rectum, but leaving unchanged the rates of postoperative complications and bringing to the footlights some new complications. Aim of paper is to report our experience about of mechanical sutures in the colorectal anastomoses, with particular attention to the risk factors and complications procedure-related.


From January 2000 to January 2006 in the Section of General and Thoracic Surgery of the University in Palermo, 26 stapled colorectal anastomosis and 11 mechanical terminal colostomies after Miles' amputation have been performed; 12 patients have been submitted to low colorectal termino-terminal anastomosis, 6 to termino-terminal ultralow anastomosis, 1 to coloanal anastomosis and 7 to Knight-Griffen technique.


We registered 2 anastomotic dehiscences (8%), 3 (12%) anastomotic bleeding and one anastomotic stenosis (4%) 12 months after surgery. No mortality procedure-related took place.


From the literature review emerges the absence of statistically differences between manual and mechanical suture in the colorectal anastomosis in terms of mortality, morbidity (clinical and radiological incidence of the anastomotic gaps, anastomotic stenosis, redo, bleeding, infection of the wound) of employed time to make the anastomosis and of staying in hospital. These data are from American Schools, while greater incidence of radiological leakage is recorded in the European schools is for the manual suture.


At present does not exist clinical trial that shows the superiority of mechanical stapling versus manual suture in the colorectal anastomosis. Stapler makes possible the lower colo-rectal anastomosis often avoiding abdomino-perineal amputation of the rectum, with better quality of life and oncological radicality, but increasing however the incidence of complications as anastomotic dehiscence and stenosis, even if not statistically significant.

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