, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1-2

Early detection and the prevention of serious complications of anastomotic leakage in rectal cancer surgery

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Anastomotic leakage (AL) after low anterior resection for rectal cancer is a challenging complication in rectal cancer surgery. The reported frequency is 10–20 % in most publications, irrespective of the creation of a diverting stoma. AL has both immediate and long-term consequences that affect morbidity, mortality, functional and oncological outcome.

The oncological impact of AL is still under discussion. Several studies have demonstrated an increase in local recurrence rate and a decreased overall survival, while other studies have failed to demonstrate this connection. A recent study showed that AL, which required reoperation, was associated with a significantly higher local recurrence and lower overall survival rate [1].

In most cases, the clinical presentation of AL is insidious with vague and uncharacteristic abdominal symptoms, which may be masked by the use of epidural analgesia. Some cases may present with extraintestinal manifestations such as atrial fibrillation or mental conf