Intracorporeal versus extracorporeal anastomosis in minimally invasive right colectomy: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Tech Coloproctol. 2019 Nov;23(11):1023-1035. doi: 10.1007/s10151-019-02079-7. Epub 2019 Oct 23.


Background: Minimally invasive colectomy has become the standard for treatment of colonic disease in many centers. Restoration of bowel continuity following resection can be achieved by intracorporeal (IC) or extracorporeal (EC) anastomosis. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the outcomes of IC compared to EC anastomosis in minimally invasive right colectomy.

Methods: A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)-compliant systematic literature search for studies assessing the outcome of IC and EC anastomosis in laparoscopic and robot-assisted right colectomy was conducted. The primary outcome of this review was postoperative complications. Secondary outcomes included operative time, blood loss, length of stay, conversion to open surgery, and bowel recovery.

Results: Twenty-five studies including 4450 patients were evaluated. 47.7% of patients had IC anastomosis and 52.3% had EC anastomosis. The weighted mean length of extraction site incision in the IC group was shorter than the EC group. The EC group had significantly higher odds of conversion to open surgery (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1-3.45, p = 0.046), total complications (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.05-2.11, p = 0.007), anastomotic leakage (AL) (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.4-2.7, p = 0.003), surgical site infection (SSI) (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.4-2.6, p = 0.002), and incisional hernia (OR 3.14, 95% CI 1.85-5.33, p < 0.001) compared to the IC group. Both groups had similar rates of ileus, small bowel obstruction, bleeding, and intra-abdominal infection.

Conclusion: IC anastomosis was associated with significantly shorter extraction site incisions, earlier bowel recovery, fewer complications, and lower rates of conversion, AL, SSI, and incisional hernia than has the EC anastomosis.

Keywords: Anastomosis; Colectomy; Extracorporeal; Intracorporeal; Meta-analysis; Outcome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical / adverse effects
  • Anastomosis, Surgical / methods
  • Anastomotic Leak / etiology
  • Colectomy / adverse effects
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Colon, Ascending / physiopathology
  • Colon, Ascending / surgery*
  • Colon, Transverse / physiopathology
  • Colon, Transverse / surgery*
  • Colonic Diseases / surgery
  • Conversion to Open Surgery / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incisional Hernia / etiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Surgical Wound / etiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology