Purpose: Preanastomotic recurrence and stricturing after surgery for ileocolic Crohn's disease is a frequent, unexplained phenomena that may lead to prompt reoperation. The aim of this study was to determine whether a wide-lumen stapled anastomosis (side-to-side, functional end-to-end) provides better outcome than a conventional sutured end-to-end anastomosis
Method: A case-control comparative analysis of patients with Crohn's disease from two inflammatory bowel disease centers treated with wide-lumen stapled anastomosis and a matched (age and gender) group treated with conventional sutured end-to-end anastomosis was performed.
Results: A total of 138 patients with Crohn's disease were treated, 69 with wide-lumen stapled anastomosis and 69 with conventional sutured end-to-end anastomosis. Preoperative therapy, number of previous resections, indication for operation, and length of bowel resected were similar in both groups. Fewer complications occurred after wide-lumen stapled anastomosis (P = 0.048). A total of 55 patients developed recurrent Crohn's disease symptoms, 39 (57 percent) in the conventional sutured end-to-end anastomosis and 16 (24 percent) in the wide-lumen stapled anastomosis group. Median follow-up was 70 and 46 months, respectively. After conventional sutured end-to-end anastomosis 18 reoperations were required, 15 for anastomotic stricture and 3 for fistulization. After wide-lumen stapled anastomosis three reoperations were necessary, two for stricture and one for fistulization. The cumulative reoperation rate for anastomotic recurrence was significantly lower (P = 0.017; log-rank test) for the wide-lumen stapled anastomosis group.
Conclusion: Wide-lumen stapled anastomosis is as safe as conventional sutured end-to-end anastomosis and results in a lower incidence of symptomatic recurrent Crohn's disease and need for reoperation. Further prospective study of the wide-lumen stapled anastomosis technique is necessary to define the precise role of this operation in patients with Crohn's disease.