Background/purpose: Intestinal anastomosis in children has traditionally been performed using hand-sewn techniques. Little data exist evaluating the efficacy of stapled intestinal anastomoses in the infant and pediatric populations.
Methods: A review of a 5-year experience using a mechanical stapler to treat 64 consecutive children requiring intestinal anastomoses was performed. An intestinal stapler was used to complete a side-to-side functional end-to-end anastomosis. Postoperative outcomes and modifications made to the technique were identified.
Results: Since 2004, 64 children (median age, 3 months; range, newborn to 24 months) underwent procedures requiring intestinal anastomosis. Twenty-six children (41%) were 1 week or less in age. Twenty-seven children (42%) underwent a stoma closure using a stapler. Thirty-seven children (58%) underwent bowel resection and stapled anastomosis in treating a variety of surgical disorders. Complications included wound infection (n = 2) and anastomotic stricture (n = 1). No issues suggesting anastomotic dilatation and subsequent stasis/overgrowth were identified.
Conclusions: These results suggest that stapled bowel anastomosis is an effective approach applicable to a variety of surgical diseases in newborns and infants.
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