World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 1834–1839 | Cite as

Higher Frequency of Anastomotic Leakage with Stapled Compared to Hand-Sewn Ileocolic Anastomosis in a Large Population-Based Study

  • Pontus Gustafsson
  • Pia Jestin
  • Ulf Gunnarsson
  • Ulrik Lindforss
Original Scientific Report



The stapling technique was recommended in a recent Cochrane analysis based on relatively small randomized trials between 1970 and 2009. Data from a large Swedish population-based quality register were analyzed in order to compare the leakage frequency between stapled and hand-sewn ileocolic anastomoses in colon cancer surgery.


Three-thousand four-hundred and twenty-eight patients with an ileocolic anastomosis were entered in a Swedish regional quality register for colon cancer, including the type of anastomosis used. The patients were analyzed by logistic regression regarding risk for leakage, and Cox proportional hazard regression for survival associated with the technique used for anastomosis. Analyses were made for gender, age, elective or emergency surgery, duration of surgery, bleeding, cancer stage, and local radicality.


Most anastomoses were hand sewn (1,908 of 3,428, 55.7 %, p < 0.001), whereas stapling was more common among emergency cases (342 of 618, 55.3 %, p < 0.001). Clinically relevant leakage appeared in 58 patients (1.7 %), of whom 51 (87.9 %) were re-operated. Leakage was found to be more frequent after stapled anastomosis (2.4 vs. 1.2 %, p = 0.006), and in multivariate analysis, stapled anastomosis was the only risk factor (OR = 2.04 95 % CI 1.19–3.50). There was no difference in overall survival related to the technique.


Hand-sewn anastomosis is not associated with a higher leakage rate when comparing to a stapling procedure and is recommended for routine and emergency right-sided colon cancer surgery. This recommendation is based on what appears to be a lower leakage rate, similar survival and lower material cost.


Anastomotic Leakage Leakage Rate Staple Anastomosis Ileocolic Anastomosis High Leakage Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by a Grant from the Bengt Ihre foundation and ALF founding SLL 20110109. Our gratitude goes to Ms Thyra Löwenmark for help with statistics and database handling.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pontus Gustafsson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pia Jestin
    • 3
  • Ulf Gunnarsson
    • 4
  • Ulrik Lindforss
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryVisby HospitalVisbySweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and TechnologyKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of Surgical SciencesUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Department of Surgical and Perioperative ScincesUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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