The “Lost Anvil”: An Original Technique for Laparoscopic Colorectal Anastomosis

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Aim:During laparoscopic colorectal anastomosis, the rectal introduction of the circular stapler is achieved without hand assistance, increasing the risk of rectal injury. Therefore, we describe a technical adjustment facilitating rectal advancement of the stapler.Materials and Methods:Two hundred consecutive patients with benign condition underwent laparoscopic sigmoidectomy. Before any stapling, the complete circular stapler is introduced into the anus. The anvil is released in the lumen of the colon to be resected. After cross-stapling the rectum, the anvil is retrieved in the resected specimen before the final steps of the anastomosis. Feasibility, safety, and long-term results were evaluated.Results:In 194 patients, the anastomosis was successfully performed at upper rectal level. Only, 1 rectal wall injury was observed. At a median follow-up of 44 months, 3 patients presented anastomotic stenosis and 2 small-bowel obstructions.Conclusions:“Lost anvil” technique allows easy and safe circular stapler rectal advancement for laparoscopic colorectal anastomosis in benign diseases.

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