Home > Journals > Minerva Surgery > Past Issues > Minerva Chirurgica 2006 October;61(5) > Minerva Chirurgica 2006 October;61(5):373-80



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian





Minerva Chirurgica 2006 October;61(5):373-80


language: Italian

Anastomotic fistulas after colorectal resection for carcinoma: incidence and treatment in our recent experience

Basilico V., Griffa B., Castiglione N., Giacci F., Zanardo M., Griffa A.

U.O. Chirurgia Oncologica Gastroenterologica Dipartimento di Chirurgia Ospedale Valduce, Como


Aim. The incidence of anastomotic fistula after colorectal surgery did not significantly change in the literature during the last years, despite the advances in the treatment with the use of surgical staplers. Taking into account this and other considerations, the authors present their recent experience in the surgical treatment of colorectal carcinoma, referring in particular to anastomotic fistula, related postoperative mortality and results of consequent reoperations.
Methods. From January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2005, 448 patients affected with colorectal cancer were operated on at the Surgical Depart-ment of Valduce Hospital in Como, and in 373 cases an anastomosis was performed, subdivided as follows: 144 ileocolic (38.6%), 10 ileorectal (2.7%), 219 colocolic or colorectal (58.7%).
Results. Twenty-five out of 373 anastomotic leaks developed (6.7%). In 9 cases (36%), the fistulas spontaneoulsy closed with conservative treatment, while in 16 (64%) reoperation was necessary. With reference to the anatomical site, the leak occurred in 9 out of 144 patients submitted to right hemicolectomy (6.3%), in 14 out of 219 patients after left hemicolectomy or anterior resection of the rectum (6.4%) and in 2 out of 10 patients (20%) after total colectomy. The following is a detailed report of the therapeutic choices adopted by the authors. Four out of 16 reoperated patients (25%) died postoperatively from infective complications related to the fistula, while the total postoperative mortality was 2.2% (10/448). Therefore, anastomotic dehiscence was responsible for 40% of all postoperative deaths.
Conclusions. Among all the different operative choices, the authors give their preference to the direct suture of the fistula and loop ileostomy, which they consider the best available choice. The subsequent operation of ileostomy closure is easier for the surgeon to perform and for the patient to withstand than colostomy closure, particularly after Hartmann’s operation.

top of page