Management of failed low colorectal and coloanal anastomosis

C Sabbagh, L Maggiori, Y Panis
Journal of Visceral Surgery 2013, 150 (3): 181-7
The most serious early complication after rectal resection with low anastomosis is anastomotic leakage (AL). AL may compromise the long-term conservation of the anastomosis and also worsen oncological results. The aim of this review was to identify those factors that contribute to the prevention of AL and to delineate the various treatment options (endoscopic, perineal surgical approach, abdominal surgical approach) for chronic AL or anastomotic stricture. Treatments for AL or anastomotic stricture should be protected by proximal diversion of fecal flow, ideally by a diverting stoma created at the time of the initial proctectomy. Local approaches to surgical treatment should include perineal examination under general anesthesia by the surgeon and drainage of the fistula. Trans-abdominal interventions should be reserved for high AL and for failure of perineal procedures. Although they have only limited indications for the treatment of AL, endoscopic treatments can be used in a complementary manner to surgical treatment. Balloon dilation is the first-line treatment for anastomotic strictures.

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