A prospective randomized study of sutured versus stapled bowel anastomoses in patients with cancer

Mukund S. Didolkar, William P. Reed, E. George Elias, Lauren A. Schnaper, Sally D. Brown, Shrikant M. Chaudhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Eighty‐eight cancer patients with the presence of one or more adverse factors for healing (carcinomatosis, adhesions, prior chemotherapy and radiation therapy, bowel obstruction, anemia, and low leukocyte count or albumin value) were prospectively randomized to undergo conventional two‐layer hand suturing (45 patients) or mechanical stapling with a GIA/TA instrument (U. S. Surgical Corp., Norwalk, CT) (43 patients) of the large or small bowel anastomosis. Age, sex, complete blood count findings, and all biochemical plasma values were comparable in both groups. The anastomosis took an average of 19 minutes for the sutured and 9 minutes for the stapled technique (P = 0.0001), but the average length of operation, postoperative return of bowel function, and hospital stay were comparable in both groups. Bowel fistula was seen in one case of stapled anastomosis (P = not significant). The pulmonary and wound complication rates were the same in both groups. Of the four deaths (4.5%) due to causes unrelated to bowel anastomosis, three occurred in the stapled and one in the sutured group. It was concluded that a stapled anastomosis is as safe as a sutured one in patients with advanced‐stage cancer. It saves time in anastomosis, but does not save time in postoperative return of the bowel function and hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-460
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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