|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
The optimal method of restoring intestinal continuity after rectal resection has been controversial. This study aims to compare the morbidity, mortality and survival of patients having either single-stapled (SS) or double-stapled (DS) colorectal anastomoses following resection of the rectum for cancer.Peri-operative and long-term follow-up data were prospectively documented in all patients undergoing rectal resection for carcinoma with a stapled anastomosis at our institution over a 14-year period. Patients were stratified by anastomotic technique (SS or DS). Peri-operative mortality, complications potentially related to anastomotic technique and cancer-related outcome were compared.Two hundred and thirty-five patients had SS and 65 patients had DS anastomoses. The groups were well matched for age, sex, and tumour stage. Double-stapled anastomoses were used more frequently in the distal third of the rectum (P < 0.001). The distal margin of resection was not influenced by anastomotic technique. Major anastomotic leakage in 2.9% of SS cases was not significantly different from 6.1% of DS cases, and leakage was not influenced by anastomotic technique at any given level of the rectum. Two-year local recurrence rates were not significantly different between groups (SS 3.5%; DS 5.9%).These results suggest that the double-stapling technique is as safe as the single-stapling technique for constructing an anastomosis after excision of the rectum for cancer, in terms of the risk of leakage, the development of an anastomotic stricture, or local recurrence.