Techniques in Coloproctology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 223–229 | Cite as

Endoluminal vacuum-assisted therapy as treatment for anastomotic leak after ileal pouch–anal anastomosis: a pilot study

  • M. Rottoli
  • M. P. Di Simone
  • C. Vallicelli
  • L. Vittori
  • G. Liguori
  • L. Boschi
  • G. Poggioli
Technical Note



Anastomotic leak after ileal pouch–anal anastomosis (IPAA) could lead to poor functional results and failure of the pouch. The aim of the present study was to analyze the outcomes of the vacuum-assisted closure therapy as the unique treatment for anastomotic leaks following IPAA without any additional surgical operations.


Consecutive patients with anastomotic leak after IPAA treated at our institution between March 2016 and March 2017 were prospectively enrolled. After diagnosis, the Endosponge® device was positioned in the gap and replaced until the cavity was reduced in size and covered by granulating tissue. A pouchoscopy was performed every week for the first month and monthly subsequently. No additional procedures were performed.


Eight patients were included in the study. The leak was diagnosed at a median of 14 (6–35) days after surgery. At the time of diagnosis, seven patients had a defunctioning ileostomy performed as routine at the time of pouch formation, while one patient was diagnosed after ileostomy closure and underwent emergency diversion ileostomy. The Endosponge® treatment started after a median of 6.5 (1–158) days after the diagnosis of the leakage and was carried on for a median of 12 (3–42) days. The device was replaced a median of 3 (1–10) times. The median length of hospital stay after the first application of the treatment was 15.5 (6–48) days. The complete healing of the leak was documented in all patients, after a median of 60 (24–90) days from the first treatment. All patients but one had their ileostomy reversed at a median of 2.5 (1–6) months from the confirmation of the complete closure.


Endosponge® is effective as the only treatment after IPAA leak. Based on the results of our prospective pilot study, application of Endosponge® should be the treatment of choice in selected pouch anastomotic leaks not requiring immediate surgery. These results will have to be confirmed by future prospective studies including a larger number of patients.


Proctocolectomy, Restorative Anastomosis, Surgical Postoperative complications Endosponge Negative-pressure wound therapy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the institutional ethical committee.

Informed consent

The patients signed a detailed informed consent form prior to the procedure.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Sant’Orsola - Malpighi HospitalAlma Mater Studiorum University of BolognaBolognaItaly

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