Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 1961–1967 | Cite as

Characterization of distal colonic motility in early postoperative period and effect of colonic anastomosis

  • J. P. Roberts
  • M. J. Benson
  • J. Rogers
  • J. J. Deeks
  • N. S. Williams
Motility, Nerve-Gut Interactions, Hormones, And Receptors


Under standardized conditions, the manometric motility of the distal colon following rectosigmoid anastomosis (N=11, median age 70 years, range 47–80), was compared to that following laparotomies not involving colonic anastomosis (N=9, 56 years, 32–65). Microtransducer probes were inserted peroperatively and colonic activity recorded continuously (median 96 hr, range 48–109 anastomotic and 75 hr, range 46–107 control group) employing an ambulatory system. Quantitative indices of motility were calculated with an automated analysis program. Total postoperative analgesic doses and duration of surgery were similar in both groups. The first return in the anastomotic group of isolated waveforms [median 1.8 hr, interquartile range (IQR) 1–3] and propagated waves (92 hr, 79–100), was comparable to the control group (4 hr, 1.8–7, and 73 hr, 72–101, respectively). Motor complexes, characterized by bursts of regular contractile activity at 3–5 cpm, returned faster in the control group (3 hr, 2–24 vs 24 hr, 19–30,P<0.05). Motility index was significantly depressed during the first 72 hr following surgery in the anastomotic group compared to controls (P<0.001). Flatus was passed at a median of 72 hr (IQR 45–79) in the control and 94 hr (81–105) in the anastomotic group (P=0.05). The presence of a left-sided colonic anastomosis has a major inhibitory effect on distal colonic motility, compared to nonanastomotic surgery of similar severity, in the early postoperative period.

Key words

colon manometry postoperative ileus colonic anastomosis 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Roberts
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. J. Benson
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Rogers
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. J. Deeks
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. S. Williams
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.From the Surgical and Gastrointestinal Research UnitsThe Royal London Hospital and London Hospital Medical CollegeWhitechapel, London
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Medical StatisticsLondon Hospital Medical CollegeWhitechapel, London

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