Comparative early histologic healing quality of magnetic versus stapled small bowel anastomosis

Published:December 22, 2022DOI:



      Successful anastomotic healing is critical to preventing complications after intestinal surgery. We aimed to compare the early healing of end-to-end small bowel anastomosis by self-forming magnets with surgical stapling in a porcine model.


      Six Yorkshire pigs underwent 2 simultaneous small bowel anastomoses using a circular stapler and self-forming magnet technique. The primary outcome was healing quality, measured by 4 histologic features: inflammatory cell infiltration, collagen formation, grade of inflammation, and bacterial infiltration at the anastomosis. The samples were evaluated at days 1, 3, and 7. Gross evaluation of anastomotic integrity was a secondary outcome.


      The self-forming magnet group displayed significant differences at each time point. On day 1, the stapled group displayed dense inflammatory cell infiltration and extensively ulcerated intestinal layers with significant edema. The self-forming magnet group showed less inflammatory infiltrate, and all intestinal layers remained compressed in direct apposition. By day 3, the self-forming magnet group already exhibited neovascularization with scant bacterial colonies. By contrast, stapled anastomoses had large areas of inflammation separating collagen fibers with prevalent bacterial infiltrations. On day 7, self-forming magnet anastomoses were characterized by robust neovascularization, maturing granulation tissue, and mucosal re-epithelization without significant inflammation. Meanwhile, stapled samples had persisting dense inflammation, tissue cavities with hemorrhage, and immature fibrous tissue. Grossly, the self-forming magnet created a patent lumen without defect, whereas stapled anastomoses demonstrated focal areas of serosal separation.


      Bowel anastomosis by self-forming magnets is associated with superior early histologic healing metrics, including early seal generation through mechanical compression, decreased inflammation, early neovascularization, lower bacterial infiltration, and faster re-epithelization.

      Graphical abstract

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