Tissue sealants in endoscopic applications for anastomotic leakage during a 25-year period

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Anastomotic leakage after gastrointestinal operation is a complication difficult to manage because conservative therapy and/or reoperation may be unsuccessful and carry the risk of increased morbidity and mortality. The endoscopic use of tissue sealants appears to be a promising alternative to avoid operation.


We present conclusively our 25-year experience with tissue sealing in a series of 63 patients referred after gastrointestinal anastomosis leakage; 48 of the upper and 15 of the lower gastrointestinal tract, experiencing a drainage volume ranging 50–2,400 mL.


Tissue glue was applied orally in 37, anally in 10, through the fistula tract in 8, and through a combination of approximation routes in another 8 cases. Biological glue (fibrin) was used in 47, cyanoacrylate in 8, and both glue types in another 8 patients. The total volume of fibrin applied was 2–36 mL, in a median of four sessions, 0.5–4 mL for cyanoacrylate, in a median of two sessions, and, whenever a combination of glues was used, a volume of 12–40 mL of fibrin plus 1–4 mL of cyanoacrylate, in a median of nine sessions. The median hospital stay after initiation of gluing was 14 days (range 8–32). The clinical and technical success rate was 96.8% (61 of 63 patients).


Tissue glue appears to be a valuable clinical tool that would prevent further operative interventions and the associated morbidity and mortality after a gastrointestinal anastomosis dehiscence. However, it must be borne in mind that repeated sessions and large volumes of sealants are necessary in many cases.

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