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J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2016 Oct;26(10):840-844. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

Use of 5-mm Laparoscopic Stapler to Perform Open Small Bowel Anastomosis in a Neonatal Animal Model.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Akron Children's Hospital , Akron, Ohio.



While adult bowel anastomoses are typically performed with staplers, neonatal small bowel anastomoses have traditionally been performed in a hand-sewn manner due to the large size of surgical staplers. The purpose of this study was to compare stapled anastomosis using a newly available, 5-mm laparoscopic stapler to a hand-sewn anastomosis in an open animal model.


Twenty anastomoses were performed by two general surgery residents (10 stapled and 10 hand-sewn) in an adult New Zealand white rabbit. The small bowel was divided with a scalpel. Surgical technique was alternated between single-layer hand-sewn and stapled anastomoses. Each anastomosis was resected for ex vivo testing. Measurements collected were outer diameter of the bowel before division, time to perform the anastomosis, anastomosis inner diameter (ID), and leak test. IDs were measured by cutting the anastomosis in cross-section, taking a photograph, and measuring the diameter by computer software. In addition, the surgeons qualitatively evaluated the anastomoses for hemostasis and overall quality. Statistical significance was determined using the Student's t-test.


There were statistically significant differences between stapled and hand-sewn anastomosis, respectively, for average operative time (4 minutes 2 seconds versus 16 minutes 6 seconds, P < .01) and anastomosis ID (8.2 versus 3.7 mm, P < .01). There was one leak in the stapled group, which occurred at overlapping staple lines closing the enterotomy. A second stapled anastomosis required suture reinforcement, again at the enterotomy closure, due to operator error. Starting diameter, leak rate, hemostasis, and anastomosis quality were not statistically significant.


In a neonatal open animal model, a 5-mm stapled anastomosis is an acceptable alternative to hand-sewn small bowel anastomosis. The stapler is faster and creates a larger diameter anastomosis, however, there was one leak when closing the enterotomy in the stapled group and overlapping staple lines should be avoided.


5-mm; anastomosis; bowel; hand-sewn; stapled

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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