Comprehensive literature review of the outcome, modifications, and alternatives to double-stapled low pelvic colorectal anastomosis

Published:April 04, 2022DOI:



      The double-stapled technique is widely used for creation of colorectal anastomosis after anterior resection of the rectum. Anastomotic leak has been recognized as one of the serious complications of low pelvic colorectal anastomosis. The present review aimed to illustrate the collective outcome of double-stapled technique, risk factors for anastomotic leak, and the modifications and alternatives of double-stapled technique.


      A comprehensive review of PubMed/Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science was conducted to search articles that entailed patients who underwent low anterior resection with double-stapled low pelvic anastomosis. The main outcome measures were anastomotic leak and complication rates of double-stapled technique and its technical modifications.


      Overall, the median anastomotic leak rate across 25 studies was 7.3% (range: 0.7%–24.5%). The most commonly reported predictors of anastomotic leak after double-stapled technique were low tumor location, multiple stapler firings, male sex, longer operation time, and perioperative blood transfusion. Several modifications of the double-stapled technique were described and include hand-sewn colonic J-pouch, vertical division of the rectum, transanal reinforcement of anastomosis, transanal pull-through with single stapling technique, elimination of dog-ears using sutures, the natural orifice intracorporeal anastomosis with extraction of specimen procedure, and transanal transection and single-stapled.


      The median rate of anastomotic leak after double-stapled technique was less than 8%; however, it showed a wide range from less than 1% to approximately 25%. This wide variation might be related to additional risk factors of anastomotic leak, namely low tumor location and multiple stapler firings. Several techniques were described to modify the double-stapled technique to try to reduce the incidence of anastomotic leak.
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