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The mesenteric entry site as a potential weak point in gastrointestinal anastomoses - findings from an ex-vivo biomechanical analysis.

PURPOSE: Gastrointestinal disorders frequently necessitate surgery involving intestinal resection and anastomosis formation, potentially leading to severe complications like anastomotic leakage (AL) which is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and adverse oncologic outcomes. While extensive research has explored the biology of anastomotic healing, there is limited understanding of the biomechanical properties of gastrointestinal anastomoses, which was aimed to be unraveled in this study.

METHODS: An ex-vivo model was developed for the biomechanical analysis of 32 handsewn porcine end-to-end anastomoses, using interrupted and continuous suture techniques subjected to different flow models. While multiple cameras captured different angles of the anastomosis, comprehensive data recording of pressure, time, and temperature was performed simultaneously. Special focus was laid on monitoring time, location and pressure of anastomotic leakage (LP) and bursting pressures (BP) depending on suture techniques and flow models.

RESULTS: Significant differences in LP, BP, and time intervals were observed based on the flow model but not on the suture techniques applied. Interestingly, anastomoses at the insertion site of the mesentery exhibited significantly higher rates of leakage and bursting compared to other sections of the anastomosis.

CONCLUSION: The developed ex-vivo model facilitated comparable, reproducible, and user-independent biomechanical analyses. Assessing biomechanical properties of anastomoses offers an advantage in identifying technical weak points to refine surgical techniques, potentially reducing complications like AL. The results indicate that mesenteric insertion serves as a potential weak spot for AL, warranting further investigations and refinements in surgical techniques to optimize outcomes in this critical area of anastomotic procedures.

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