Send to

Choose Destination
ANZ J Surg. 2018 Oct;88(10):959-965. doi: 10.1111/ans.14322. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and anastomotic dehiscence after colorectal surgery: a meta-analysis.

Author information

Department of Colorectal Surgery, Discipline of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Enhanced recovery after surgery protocols supports the post-operative use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to minimize the use of opioids. However, there is an increasing concern on the impaired wound healing of anastomosis associated with NSAID use, potentially causing a higher risk of anastomotic leakage. The aim was to conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the association of NSAIDs with anastomotic leakage after colorectal surgery.


A literature search was conducted using the MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Library and Studies identified were appraised with standard selection criteria. Data points were extracted and meta-analysis was performed based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.


Seventeen studies comprising of 26 098 patients were examined. The analysis of all studies showed a significantly lower rate of anastomotic dehiscence in the no-NSAID group (pooled odds ratio (OR) = 2.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.48-2.71, P < 0.00001). The analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) demonstrates similar dehiscence rates between both groups (P = 0.17). In subgroup analysis, non-selective NSAIDs was associated with a higher risk of anastomotic dehiscence (pooled OR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.62-2.50, P < 0.00001). However, there was no difference in the incidence of anastomotic leakage between no-NSAID group and selective NSAID group (P = 0.05).


Use of NSAIDs after colorectal surgery may be associated with a higher risk of anastomotic leakage. It is important to balance between the benefits of faster post-operative recovery and potential adverse effects of NSAIDs. Selective NSAIDs may be safer than non-selective ones. More RCTs are warranted to further evaluate the relationship between anastomotic leakage and use of NSAIDs, especially selective ones.


anastomosis; colorectal surgery; dehiscence; leakage; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory; risk


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center