Treatment of Colorectal Anastomotic Leakage: Results of a Questionnaire amongst Members of the Dutch Society of Gastrointestinal Surgery

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Abstract

Anastomotic leakage after colorectal surgery is correlated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Although many studies focus on risk factors and detection, studies on the treatment strategy for colorectal anastomotic leakage are scarce. A national questionnaire amongst 350 members of the Dutch Society for Gastrointestinal Surgery was undertaken on the current treatment of colorectal anastomotic leakage. The response was 40% after two anonymous rounds. 27% of the respondents state that a leaking anastomosis above the level of the promontory should be salvaged in ASA 1–2 patients <80 years of age, for ASA 3 and/or >80 years of age this percentage is 7.3%. For an anastomosis under the promontory, 50% of the respondents choose preserving the anastomosis for ASA 1–2 compared to 17% for ASA 3 and/or >80 years of age. In ASA 1–2 patients with a local abscess after a rectum resection without protective ileostomy, 31% of the respondents will create an protective ileostomy, 40% break down the anastomosis to create a definite colostomy, in ASA 3 and/or >80 years of age 14% of the respondents create a protective ileostomy and 63% a definitive colostomy. In ASA 1–2 patients with peritonitis after a rectum resection with deviating ileostomy, 31% prefer a laparotomy for lavage and repair of the anastomosis, 25% for lavage without repair and 36% of the respondents prefer to break down the anastomosis. When the patient is ASA 3 and/or >80 years of age, 13% prefer repair, 9% a lavage and 74% breaking down the anastomosis. This questionnaire shows that in contrast to older people, more surgeons make an effort to preserve the anastomosis in younger people.

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