Incidence and mortality of anastomotic dehiscence requiring reoperation after rectal carcinoma resection

Int Surg. 2014 Mar-Apr;99(2):112-9. doi: 10.9738/INTSURG-D-13-00059.


Anastomotic dehiscence (AD) requiring reoperation is the most severe complication following anterior rectal resection. We performed a systematic review on studies that describe AD requiring reoperation and its subsequent mortality after anterior resection for rectal carcinoma. A systematic search was performed on published literature. Data on the definition and rate of AD, the number of ADs requiring reoperation, the mortality caused by AD, and the overall postoperative mortality were pooled and analyzed. A total of 39 studies with 24,232 patients were analyzed. The studies varied in incidence and definition of AD. Systematic review of the data showed that the overall rate of AD was 8.6%, and the rate of AD requiring reoperation was 5.4%. The postoperative mortality caused by AD was 0.4%, and the overall postoperative mortality was 1.3%. We found considerable risk and mortality for AD requiring reoperation, which largely contributed to the overall postoperative mortality.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Rectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Rectum / surgery*
  • Reoperation
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / epidemiology*
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / mortality
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / surgery