Functional outcomes of patients undergoing successful redo surgery after failed primary colorectal or coloanal anastomosis for rectal cancer

Published:December 01, 2020DOI:



      After a failure of a colorectal or coloanal anastomosis, redo anastomotic surgery aims to avoid the risk of permanent stoma but, overall, to provide a satisfactory functional result and quality of life. Very limited data exist regarding the long-term results after a successful redo anastomosis. The present study aimed to report the long-term functional outcomes and quality of life in patients after a successful redo colorectal anastomosis or coloanal anastomosis.


      Between 2007 and 2018, all patients who had a successful restoration of bowel continuity after a failed primary anastomosis performed for a rectal cancer were included. Functional outcomes and quality of life were assessed using the low anterior rectal syndrome score and the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index.


      One hundred and twenty-seven patients were eligible for inclusion in this study, with long-term functional outcomes assessed in 73 patients (57%). After a median follow-up of 69 months, 31 patients presented no or minor low anterior rectal syndrome (42%), whereas 31 patients reported a major low anterior rectal syndrome (42%). A definitive stoma was confectioned in 11 patients (15%), despite the technical success of redo anastomosis due to poor functional results. Only operative interval <36 months was associated with a poor functional outcome (P = .001), whereas all other factors such as pelvic radiotherapy were not (P = .848). An absence of major low anterior rectal syndrome was the only factor associated with improved quality of life (P = .001).


      After successful redo colorectal anastomosis or coloanal anastomosis, good functional outcomes can be achieved in almost half of patients with a well-preserved quality of life but requires a prolonged postoperative period of rehabilitation.
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