Improved colorectal anastomotic leakage healing by transanal rinsing treatment after endoscopic vacuum therapy using a novel patient-applied rinsing catheter

  • Marcus Kantowski
  • Andreas Kunze
  • Eugen Bellon
  • Thomas Rösch
  • Utz Settmacher
  • Michael TachezyEmail author
Original Article



Anastomotic or stump leakage is a common and serious complication of colorectal surgery. The objective of this study was to retrospectively investigate the clinical use and potential benefit of transanal rinsing treatment (TRT) using an innovative rinsing catheter (RC) after treatment with endoscopic vacuum therapy (EVT).


Patients with leakage after low colorectal surgery who had been treated with EVT were retrospectively analyzed. A subset of patients was trained to perform TRT with a specially developed RC. We investigated the rate of complete healing of the leakage, septic complications, failure of the therapy, surgical revisions, ostomy closure rate, and complications related to endoscopic therapy.


Between February 2007 and January 2014, 98 patients with local complications after low colorectal surgery, treated with EVT, were identified. Eighty-nine patients were analyzed (the treatment of nine patients was stopped due to medical or technical problems): 31 patients were treated with EVT only (EVT group) and 58 patients with EVT followed by TRT (EVT/TRT group). Complete healing of the leakage was significantly better in the EVT/TRT group [84% vs. 58% (p < 0.009)], and significantly fewer septic complications needing surgical revision were detected [3% vs. 11% (p = 0.001)]. No significant differences regarding endoscopy-related complications and ostomy closure were found between EVT and EVT/TRT patients.


The use of patient-administered TRT with an innovative, customized RC after EVT is technically feasible and reliable and significantly improves therapeutic results. Further prospective trials with larger patient groups are needed to validate the results of our study.


Leakage Complication management Vacuum therapy Surgery Rectal cancer 


Author contributions

All authors contributed to study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Marcus Kantowski, Andreas Kunze, Michael Tachezy, and Eugen Bellon. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Marcus Kantowski, and all authors commented on the previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinic of Interdisciplinary EndoscopyUniversity Hospital Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Clinic for ObstetricsJena University HospitalJenaGermany
  3. 3.Clinic for General, Visceral and Vascular SurgeryJena University HospitalJenaGermany
  4. 4.Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic SurgeryUniversity Hospital Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany

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