Introduction: Anastomotic leak (AL) after right hemicolectomy remains a significant clinical challenge with an incidence of 4.2% to 8.2% in European series. Near infrared imaging with indocyanine green (NIR-ICG) allows real-time assessment of bowel perfusion. However, there is a lack of published data assessing the clinical utility of this new technology in right sided colonic resection.
Materials and methods: Data from electronic records were retrospectively analyzed for consecutive patients undergoing right hemicolectomy in a single center between March 1, 2016 and October 31, 2019. Primary outcomes were the incidence of AL and the frequency with which ICG-NIR imaging altered the intraoperative course.
Results: Our study included 127 patients, with 65 in the NIR-ICG group and 62 in the control group. Median length of follow-up was 24 months. There was no significant difference in demographic or pathologic characteristics between the 2 cohorts. There was no significant difference in operation length between the NIR-ICG and control groups (164.7 vs. 162.9 min, P=0.88). The use of NIR-ICG altered the intraoperative course in 4/65 (6.2%) patients. The rate of AL was lower in the NIR-ICG group (1.5% vs. 4.8%), although this did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusion: The use of NIR-ICG altered the intraoperative course for notable subset of patients undergoing right hemicolectomy without prolonging operative time. Larger prospective studies are required to evaluate the potential for the routine use of this technology to reduce AL rate in right hemicolectomy.
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