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Concept: Anastomosis


The current paradigm of robot-assisted surgeries (RASs) depends entirely on an individual surgeon’s manual capability. Autonomous robotic surgery-removing the surgeon’s hands-promises enhanced efficacy, safety, and improved access to optimized surgical techniques. Surgeries involving soft tissue have not been performed autonomously because of technological limitations, including lack of vision systems that can distinguish and track the target tissues in dynamic surgical environments and lack of intelligent algorithms that can execute complex surgical tasks. We demonstrate in vivo supervised autonomous soft tissue surgery in an open surgical setting, enabled by a plenoptic three-dimensional and near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) imaging system and an autonomous suturing algorithm. Inspired by the best human surgical practices, a computer program generates a plan to complete complex surgical tasks on deformable soft tissue, such as suturing and intestinal anastomosis. We compared metrics of anastomosis-including the consistency of suturing informed by the average suture spacing, the pressure at which the anastomosis leaked, the number of mistakes that required removing the needle from the tissue, completion time, and lumen reduction in intestinal anastomoses-between our supervised autonomous system, manual laparoscopic surgery, and clinically used RAS approaches. Despite dynamic scene changes and tissue movement during surgery, we demonstrate that the outcome of supervised autonomous procedures is superior to surgery performed by expert surgeons and RAS techniques in ex vivo porcine tissues and in living pigs. These results demonstrate the potential for autonomous robots to improve the efficacy, consistency, functional outcome, and accessibility of surgical techniques.

Concepts: Surgery, Physician, Tissues, Surgeon, Laparoscopic surgery, Laparoscopy, Anastomosis, Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi


Intestinal anastomosis is an essential part of surgical practice, and with it comes the inherent risk of complications including leaks, strictures, and bleeding, which result in significant morbidity and occasional mortality. Understanding the myriad of risk factors and the strength of the data helps guide a surgeon as to the safety of undertaking an operation in which a primary anastomosis is to be considered. This article reviews the risk factors, management, and outcomes associated with anastomotic complications.

Concepts: Risk, Surgery, Digestive system, Management, Anastomosis, Surgical anastomosis


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Caustic esophageal injury is a rare clinical condition in adult patients. Although dilatation, or the conservative approach, is the primary treatment method, some patients require surgical intervention. Because of the rarity of such cases, standard surgical treatment algorithms cannot be utilized. In this article, we present our surgical experience and discuss the challenges in the surgical management of corrosive injury of the esophagus in adults. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of 28 patients who suffered from a corrosive esophageal injury between 1996 and 2011. Patient demographics, history of corrosive material ingestion, preoperative findings, treatment strategy, operative technique, postoperative course, requirements for further treatment, and the current status of the patients were investigated. RESULTS: All patients underwent a transhiatal esophagectomy in addition to a gastric pull-up with a cervical esophagogastrostomy. The mean follow-up time was 62 (12-140) months. One patient developed a deep surgical infection; anastomotic stenosis was noted and treated with dilatation in 13 patients. The mean time period between the operation and the first dilatation for 12 patients was 81 (45-161) days. The mean dilatation count for the patients was 3 (1-10). CONCLUSION: Although it comes with high anastomotic stenosis rates, transhiatal esophagectomy and gastric pull-up with cervical anastomosis is a safe procedure, which can be performed for the treatment of corrosive esophageal stricture.

Concepts: Time, Hospital, Surgery, Digestive system, Esophagus, Anastomosis, Esophageal cancer, Esophageal stricture


INTRODUCTION: Venous anastomosis is 1 of the most challenging technical aspects of microsurgery. Recently, it has been expedited by the use of an anastomotic coupler device in multiple reconstructive venues. However, there are few studies in the literature evaluating the use of the coupler in lower extremity reconstruction. We present 1 of the largest series to date examining the use of the venous coupler in microsurgical reconstruction of the lower extremity. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was completed including all lower extremity soft tissue reconstruction over a 26-month period performed by the senior authors. The Synovis venous coupler was used in all coupled venous anastomoses (Synovis Micro Companies Alliance Inc, Birmingham, Alabama). Patients under 18 years of age were excluded. RESULTS: Forty-nine free flaps were performed in 48 patients. All arterial anastomoses were hand sewn. The anastomotic venous coupler was used in 48 of 49 flaps (97.9%) with 1 hand-sewn case due to attending preference during early experience. There were no intraoperative vascular complications. Successful free flap reconstruction occurred in 47 of 49 flaps (95.9%). Of the flap losses, 1 was due to delayed venous thrombosis, the other attributed to delayed arterial thrombosis. Venous thrombosis rate was 2.1% when the coupler was used (1 failure in 48 flaps). CONCLUSIONS: The use of the venous coupler device in lower extremity reconstruction can be performed with a high degree of success. The potential of the venous coupler for reduced operative time, more efficient anastomoses with decreased ischemia, and reduced thrombotic rates represents potential benefits of this important tool.

Concepts: Blood, Thrombosis, Surgery, Vein, Cardiovascular system, Anastomosis, Surgical anastomosis, Free flap


Abstract A microanastomosis might tolerate a torsion up to 360°, but the effects of arterial microanastomosis torsion on the survival of the flap it supplies are unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of microarterial anastomosis torsion on the groin flap in rats. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into five groups. An oblique groin flap was harvested as an island flap and a patch-to-side arterial anastomosis was performed with torsion angles of 0°, 90°, 180°, 270°, and 360°. Six of eight flaps in Group I (0° torsion), six of eight flaps in Group II (90°), three of eight flaps in Group III (180°), and none of the flaps in Groups IV and V (270° and 360°) were found to be viable after 1 week. The patency and flap survival rates observed in Groups II, III, IV, and V were compared with those in Group I using Fisher’s exact test. The patency rates and flap survival rates in Groups IV and V were significantly lower compared with those in Group I. Our data show that skin flaps can survive even if their arterial pedicle is anastomosed with a torsion of up to 180°.

Concepts: Statistical tests, Group, Ronald Fisher, Anastomosis, Fisher's exact test, Exact test


BackgroundThe aim of the present national prospective population-based study was to assess the early morbidity of esophageal atresia (EA).MethodsAll 38 multidisciplinary French centers that care for patients with EA returned a specific questionnaire about the 1-year outcome for each patient. This information was centralized, checked, and entered into a database.ResultsFrom the total population of 307 EA patients born in 2008 and 2009, data about the 1-year outcome were obtained from 301 (98%) patients, of whom 4% were lost to follow-up and 5% died. Medical complications occurred in 34% of the patients: anastomotic leaks (8%), recurrent tracheoesophageal fistula (4%), and anastomotic stenosis (22%); all of the latter group needed dilation (median, 2 dilations/patient). A new hospitalization was required for 59% of patients (2.5 hospitalizations/patient) for digestive (52%) or respiratory (48%) reasons. Twelve percent of patients required antireflux surgery at a median age of 164 days (range, 33¿398 days), and 1% underwent an aortopexy for severe tracheomalacia. The weight/age Z-score was ¿0.8 (range, ¿5.5 to 3.7 months) at 12 months. Fifteen percent of patients were undernourished at 12 months of age, whereas 37% presented with respiratory symptoms and 15% had dysphagia at the last follow-up. Significant independent factors associated with medical complications were anastomotic esophageal tension (p¿=¿.0009) and presence of a gastrostomy (p¿=¿.0002); exclusive oral feeding at discharge was associated with a decreased risk of complications (p¿=¿.007).ConclusionsDigestive and respiratory morbidities remain frequent during the first year of life and are associated with difficult anastomosis and lack of full oral feeding.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Surgery, Esophageal varices, Esophageal atresia, Anastomosis, Tracheoesophageal fistula, Tracheomalacia


Anastomosis technique following right sided colonic resection is widely variable and may affect patient outcomes. This study aimed to assess the association between leak and anastomosis technique (stapled versus handsewn) METHODS: This was a prospective, multicentre, international audit including patients undergoing elective or emergency right hemicolectomy or ileo-caecal resection operations over a two-month period in early 2015. The primary outcome measure was the presence of anastomotic leak within 30 days of surgery, using a pre-specified definition. Mixed effects logistic regression models were used to assess the association between leak and anastomosis method, adjusting for patient, disease and operative cofactors, with centre included as a random effect variable.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Hospital, Effect, Surgery, Affect, Outcome, Anastomosis


Magnetic compression anastomosis (magnamosis) uses a pair of self-centering magnetic Harrison Rings to create an intestinal anastomosis without sutures or staples. We report the first-in-human case series using this unique device.

Concepts: Evaluation methods, Anastomosis


Even under the most expert care, a properly constructed intestinal anastomosis can fail to heal, resulting in leakage of its contents, peritonitis, and sepsis. The cause of anastomotic leak remains unknown, and its incidence has not changed in decades. We demonstrate that the commensal bacterium Enterococcus faecalis contributes to the pathogenesis of anastomotic leak through its capacity to degrade collagen and to activate tissue matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) in host intestinal tissues. We demonstrate in rats that leaking anastomotic tissues were colonized by E. faecalis strains that showed an increased collagen-degrading activity and also an increased ability to activate host MMP9, both of which contributed to anastomotic leakage. We demonstrate that the E. faecalis genes gelE and sprE were required for E. faecalis-mediated MMP9 activation. Either elimination of E. faecalis strains through direct topical antibiotics applied to rat intestinal tissues or pharmacological suppression of intestinal MMP9 activation prevented anastomotic leak in rats. In contrast, the standard recommended intravenous antibiotics used in patients undergoing colorectal surgery did not eliminate E. faecalis at anastomotic tissues nor did they prevent leak in our rat model. Finally, we show in humans undergoing colon surgery and treated with the standard recommended intravenous antibiotics that their anastomotic tissues still contained E. faecalis and other bacterial strains with collagen-degrading/MMP9-activating activity. We suggest that intestinal microbes with the capacity to produce collagenases and to activate host metalloproteinase MMP9 may break down collagen in the intestinal tissue contributing to anastomotic leak.

Concepts: Bacteria, Extracellular matrix, Surgery, Antibiotic, Matrix metalloproteinase, Anastomosis, Leak, Enterococcus faecalis


Transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME) is a novel approach pioneered to tackle the challenges posed by difficult pelvic dissections in rectal cancer and the restrictions in angulation of currently available laparoscopic staplers. To date, four techniques can be employed in order to create the colorectal/coloanal anastomosis following TaTME. We present a technical note describing these techniques and discuss the risks and benefits of each.

Concepts: Cancer, Surgery, Colorectal cancer, Pelvis, Anastomosis, Total mesorectal excision, Surgical anastomosis