Early postoperative anastomotic hemorrhage after gastrectomy for gastric cancer
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Postoperative anastomotic hemorrhage is a relatively rare complication, but it is lethal if not treated immediately.
Of 1400 patients with gastric cancer who underwent gastrectomy between September 2002 and December 2007, postoperative anastomotic hemorrhage was observed in 6 patients. The surgical procedures, bleeding sites, methods of hemostasis, and clinical courses of these 6 patients were analyzed.
Of the 1400 patients, 878, 72, and 450 underwent distal, proximal, and total gastrectomy, respectively. The bleeding sites were as follows: transection line of the stomach using a linear stapler (n = 1); gastroduodenostomy using a circular stapler (n = 3); gastrojejunostomy by hand-suture (n = 1); and esophagojejunostomy using a circular stapler (n = 1). Five patients achieved complete hemostasis with endoscopic treatment. One patient underwent re-operation for anastomotic hemorrhage without endoscopic therapy. Two patients had delayed gastric emptying, and one patient developed an intraabdominal abscess after hemostatic treatment.
Postoperative anastomotic hemorrhage is an infrequent but potentially life-threatening complication. Endoscopy appears to be useful for both the confi rmation of bleeding and therapeutic intervention.
Key wordsAnastomosis Gastrectomy Gastric cancer Hemorrhage Postoperative complications
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