Endoluminal negative pressure therapy in colorectal anastomotic leaks

Colorectal Dis. 2020 Mar;22(3):243-253. doi: 10.1111/codi.14754. Epub 2019 Jul 19.


Aim: The aim of the present work was to perform an up-to-date review of the literature on endoluminal negative pressure therapy for colorectal anastomotic leak.

Method: An electronic search in PubMed and Google Scholar and a manual search without language restrictions were performed on 25 January 2019. Only original series reporting endoluminal negative pressure therapy in colorectal anastomotic leaks were included. The primary outcome was the success rate (complete closure of the abscess cavity). The secondary outcomes were the rates of complications and stoma closure.

Results: Nineteen series with a total of 295 cases were analysed. The median distance of the anastomosis from the anal verge and the size of the abscess were 5.65 cm (4.9-10) and 6.0 cm (5-8.1) respectively. In 84.5% (78%-91%) the stoma was created at the first intervention. Neoadjuvant therapy was performed in 48.6% (3%-60%). Median 7 sponges (2-34) were used with median negative pressure 150 mmHg (125-700) for a median of 31 days (14-127). The success rate was 85.4% (80%-91%) with ileostomy closure in 72.6%. Complications were observed in 19% (13%-25%): abscesses 11.5% and anastomotic stenosis 4.4%. Laparotomy was required in 15% of the complications. The stoma was the only significant predictor for the success of the therapy (0.007, SE 0.004, P = 0.040).

Conclusions: The initial experience looks promising with an 85% success rate, which precludes risky re-resections with redo anastomosis or Hartmann's procedure. Despite the good initial results, definitive conclusions cannot be drawn because of the small sample size and the lack of high-quality comparative studies.

Keywords: colorectal anastomotic leak; colorectal surgery; complications; endoluminal negative pressure therapy; endosponge treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical / adverse effects
  • Anastomotic Leak* / etiology
  • Anastomotic Leak* / surgery
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Ileostomy
  • Rectum / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies