Controversies in J Pouch Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis: A Focus on Handsewn Versus Stapled Anastomosis

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The accepted current standard for treatment of medically refractory ulcerative colitis is total proctocolectomy with an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for restoration of continence. There are 2 techniques by which the anastomosis can be performed, including handsewn and stapled. Handsewn anastomosis with mucosectomy was the first method described; however, it has been associated with significant incontinence. The double-stapled anastomosis was developed in response to improve postoperative function. Controversy remains as to which technique is superior as both have disadvantages. This review article addresses differences between the 2 methodologies in relation to postoperative complications, anorectal physiology, functional outcomes, and oncological safety.

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