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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1988 May; 70(3): 158–160.
PMCID: PMC2498752

Intraoperative testing of the integrity of left-sided colorectal anastomoses: a technique of value to the surgeon in training.


Left-sided colorectal anastomoses sometimes leak despite the best efforts of the surgeon. The cause is thought to be multifactorial but imperfections in the technique of performing the anastomosis must play some part. A method for testing the integrity of left-sided colorectal anastomoses has been developed using intraluminal distension. Twenty-one patients were studied and defects in the anastomosis were found in five (24%). These defects were rectified at the time of operation. We conclude that this method is useful for demonstrating imperfections in anastomotic technique and we suggest a distending pressure of 25 cm saline. We suggest that the method may be particularly useful for the surgeon in training.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Matheson NA, McIntosh CA, Krukowski ZH. Continuing experience with single layer appositional anastomosis in the large bowel. Br J Surg. 1985 Sep;72 (Suppl):S104–S106. [PubMed]
  • Goligher JC, Graham NG, De Dombal FT. Anastomotic dehiscence after anterior resection of rectum and sigmoid. Br J Surg. 1970 Feb;57(2):109–118. [PubMed]
  • 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]

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