Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 26–30 | Cite as

Endoscopic dilation of colonic postoperative strictures

  • V. Pietropaolo
  • L. Masoni
  • M. Ferrara
  • A. Montori
Original Articles


After the use of surgical staplers had become widespread, the number of colonic postoperative stenoses was observed to have increased. Nevertheless, the clinical relevance of this observation is minimal since only 2–5% of the patients complain of chronic constipation or obstruction symptoms. In such cases medical therapy is somewhat troublesome, and surgical treatment always implies a major operation. Endoscopic dilation has proved to be a reliable, simple, and safe therapeutic alternative. Forty-two patients with evidence of stenosis of either colocolic or colorectal anastomosis underwent mechanical or pneumatic dilation in our unit: 19 patients with a temporary diverting stoma were dilated before the colostomy was removed; in the remaining 23 cases, treatment was given according to the patients' symptoms or because it was not possible to pass the anastomosis with an endoscope. The overall failure rate was 2.4%, and no morbidity or mortality was found. When the percentages of patients successfully treated in one session alone were compared (76.9% versus 51.8%), balloon dilation was found to be more effective than bougienage. In our opinion, endoscopic dilation represents the mainstay of treatment of colonic anastomotic strictures, with surgery being reserved for the rare failures, when recurrence of cancer should be suspected.

Key words

Colonic anastomosis Surgical staplers Dilation therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Pietropaolo
    • 1
  • L. Masoni
    • 1
  • M. Ferrara
    • 1
  • A. Montori
    • 1
  1. 1.III Cattedra Patologia Speciale Chirurgica, Policlinico Umberto IUniversità degli studi di Roma “La Sapienza”RomeItaly

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