Risk factors for anastomotic leakage after low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision

W I Law, K W Chu, J W Ho, C W Chan
American Journal of Surgery 2000, 179 (2): 92-6

BACKGROUND: This study aims to analyze the risk factors for anastomotic leakage after low anterior resection with the technique of total mesorectal excision (TME).

METHODS: From September 1993 to November 1998, 196 patients with rectal cancer from 3 to 12 cm from the anal verge were treated with low anterior resection with TME. The data were entered in a prospective manner, and the factors that might affect anastomotic leakage were analyzed.

RESULTS: The mean level of anastomosis was 3.6 cm from the anal verge (range 1 to 5 cm). The leakage rate was 10.2%. Female gender (P = 0.01; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3 to 14.3; odds ratio 4.3) and presence of a diversion stoma (P = 0.01; 95% CI 1.4 to 14.2; odds ratio 4.5) were independent significant factors for lower anastomotic leakage. The absence of a stoma was associated with significantly increased leakage in male (P = 0.001) but not in female (P = 0.51) patients.

CONCLUSIONS: With low anastomosis after low anterior resection with TME, diversion stoma construction should be performed routinely in men. In women, the need for diversion can be more selective.


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