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The failed intraperitoneal colon anastomosis after colon resection

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The purpose of this study is to present the incidence of anastomotic leakage after colon resection and intraperitoneal anastomosis for colorectal cancer.

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In the last ten years, 205 patients underwent colonic resection with intraperitoneal anastomosis for colon cancer. The surgical management of colorectal cancer consisted of 66 right hemicolectomies, 3 transverse colectomies, 17 left hemicolectomies, 98 sigmoid colectomies and 21 high anterior resections of the rectum. Diagnosis of leakage was made by clinical features, blood vessel examinations and abdominal CT-scans.


Anastomotic leakage occurred in 5 out of 205 patients (2.4%). One of these patients underwent emergency surgery and the other 4 elective surgery; 3 by manual, 2 by mechanical suture. Three patients with anastomotic leakage were reoperated on days 4, 5 and 7, and 2 patients were treated conservatively. Two of the patients (20%) with anastomotic leakage died due to sepsis.


Even though the rate of anastomotic leakage in patients with intraperitoneal anastomosis after colon resection for colorectal cancer is low, it remains a significant complication and a major cause of postoperative morbidity and mortality.

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Correspondence to I. Kanellos.

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Kanellos, I., Blouhos, K., Demetriades, H. et al. The failed intraperitoneal colon anastomosis after colon resection. Tech Coloproctol 8 (Suppl 1), s53–s55 (2004).

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