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Hussain A, Mahmood H, Nicholls J, El-Hasani S
Correspondence: Dr Abdulzahra Hussain, email@example.com
Introduction The optimal technique for gastrointestinal anastomosis is controversial. The three most popular techniques are two layers, one layer and the stapling method. However, there is no universal agreement on the best technique. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of continuous figure-of-eight suturing in gastrointestinal anastomosis.
Methods This was a retrospective study of 170 patients who underwent gastrointestinal anastomosis using continuous figure-of-eight suturing for the first layer and continuous seromuscular suturing for the second layer from August 1993 to January 2006. All operations were performed by a single consultant surgeon. We assessed each anastomosis by checking the integrity, vascularity and patency, and also ensuring tension-free status. Postoperatively, patients were managed by routine care of intravenous fluids and nasogastric tube until they had active bowel sounds and started absorbing. Imaging was arranged for patients who developed clinical signs and symptoms of leak.
Results 170 patients underwent gastrointestinal anastomosis by continuous figure-of-eight suturing for different pathologies over a two-and-a-half-year period. There were 92 (54.1 percent) men and 78 (45.9 percent) women. The mean age of the patients was 56 (range 20-88) years. The median follow-up was 74 months. There were 124 (72.9 percent) small bowel anastomosis and 46 (27.1 percent) large bowel anastomosis. An important complication after gastrointestinal anastomosis was leakage, which was reported in three (1.8 percent) patients. One of them had gastric cancer, one had Crohn's disease and one had intestinal ischaemia. No mortality was reported in relation to anastomotic failure. Two (1.2 percent) patients developed stenosis and 15 (8.8 percent) patients died because of progression of their disease or other pathologies during the follow-up.
Conclusion Continuous figure-of-eight suturing is a simple, easy to learn, safe and satisfactory upper and lower gastrointestinal anastomosis technique.
Keywords: continuous figure-of-eight suturing, gastrointestinal anastomosis, gastrointestinal tract, suturing techniques
Singapore Med J. 2008; 49(9): 672-5