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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1988 November; 70(6): 345–347.
PMCID: PMC2498609

Intra-operative air testing: an audit on rectal anastomosis.

Abstract

Thirty three patients having an anastomosis to the rectum were studied prospectively to determine the usefulness of intra-operative air testing. The pelvis was filled with saline and the anastomosis was distended with air. Any leaks demonstrated were oversewn. A Gastrografin enema was performed on all the patients on the eighth postoperative day. Overall, there were 4 (12%) clinical leaks and 10 (30%) radiological leaks. In six patients with air leaks demonstrated at operation, two had a radiological leak, one of which presented clinically as well. We believe that in the other four patients a potential leak was probably avoided as a result of intra-operative air testing. This technique is simple, safe and effective and probably helps reduce leakage after colorectal anastomosis.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Fielding LP, Stewart-Brown S, Blesovsky L, Kearney G. Anastomotic integrity after operations for large-bowel cancer: a multicentre study. Br Med J. 1980 Aug 9;281(6237):411–414. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • McGinn FP, Gartell PC, Clifford PC, Brunton FJ. Staples or sutures for low colorectal anastomoses: a prospective randomized trial. Br J Surg. 1985 Aug;72(8):603–605. [PubMed]

Articles from Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England are provided here courtesy of The Royal College of Surgeons of England