Am Surg. 2021 Sep 14:31348211041555. doi: 10.1177/00031348211041555. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Low colorectal anastomoses carry a high anastomotic leak (AL) rate (up to 20%) and thus are commonly diverted. Much less is known about mid-to-high colorectal anastomosis, which carries a leak rate of 2-4%. The objective of this study was to determine our AL rate after mid-to-high colorectal anastomosis and associated risk factors.
METHODS: A single center retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing left colonic resections with mid-to-high colorectal anastomosis (≥7 cm from the anal verge) from January 2008 to October 2017 was utilized. Main outcome, AL, defined as clinical suspicion supported by radiological or intraoperative findings, was calculated and risk factors assessed using multivariable logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: 977 patients were included; 487 (49.9%) were male, with a mean age of 59.8 (+/-12.1) years. Mean BMI was 27.5 (+/-5.5) kg/m2. Diverticular disease (67.5%), malignancy (17.4%), and inflammatory bowel disease (2.2%) were the main indications for resection. Mean length of stay was 6.7 (+/-4.5) days. 455 (46.8%) colonic resections were performed by laparoscopy, 283 (29.1%) by hand assisted surgery, 219 (22.5%) by laparotomy, and 16 (1.6%) by robotics. Majority of patients had complete donuts (99.6%) and a negative air leak test (97.7%). 149 patients (15.3%) underwent construction of a diverting stoma. The overall AL rate was 2.1% (n = 20). Increased BMI (>30 kg/m2), P = .02, was an independent risk factor for AL and a trend observed for positive air leak tests (P = .05), with other factors failing to achieve statistical significance.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with mid-to-high colorectal anastomosis have a 2% AL risk. Increased BMI was a risk factor for AL.