Aim: Clinical evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of compression anastomosis with ColonRing™ for large-bowel end-to-end anastomosis for rectal cancer and explanation of the procedure and the device itself since this device is used for the first time in our clinic.
Material and methods: In November, 2012, a team of surgeons from our clinic attended the Clinical practice workshop in Belgrade, Serbia which was organized by the World Congress of Compression Anastomosis (WCCA) and held by its President Prof. Dr. Steven Wexner from Cleveland Clinic in USA. On this workshop, all aspects of technical point of view were obtained and surgeons were certified for the technique. A total of 25 patients have been scheduled for elective colorectal surgery with subsequent compression anastomosis using ColonRing. All patients were operated for high and mid rectal cancers excluding the low rectal cancers, since those patients are usually diverted with decompressive ileostomy. Patients, who are diverted, are at higher risk of retaining the ring, after its dislodgement, in the ampulla of the rectum since they do not have natural excretion of stool via the anus. All patients were followed for anastomotic leak, anastomotic bleeding, stricture formation, device (ColonRing) handling in general and time of expulsion of the ring via anus.
Results: We used this technique for the first time in 2013 and since then a total of 25 patients underwent anterior resection of the rectum with subsequent colorectal compression anastomosis using ColonRing. Of all patients, 9 were female while 16 were male with median age of 64 years. All patients were operated for rectal cancers. The mean length of hospital stay was 7.4 days (range 5 to 9 days). None of the patients developed anastomotic bleeding or dehiscence. To date none of the patients developed anastomotic stricture, although some patients were followed for almost two years. The average day of expulsion from the body could not be calculated since despite, and although all patients were given instruction on how to check for ring expulsion, 21 of them did not report this event. Only 2 patients brought the ring to us. In two cases after 2 week of the initial operation, the ring was find and palpated on digital rectal examination, free in the ampulla of the rectum and was easily removed via the anus during the examination. Misfiring was reported in 1 patient (first patient) and reanastomosis was employed using another ColonRing, No perioperative mortality was observed in this patient population.
Conclusion: End-to end colorectal anastomosis with the ColonRing is feasible and safe procedure with fast learning curve. To date, this type of anastomosis is possible in left sided colon lesions where anastomosis is contemplated below the promontory. We find the device easy to use with high level of confidence. Further prospective studies including comparison between the ColonRing device and the conventional staplers evaluating long-term anastomotic complications (i.e., leak or stricture) are needed to evaluate the benefits and limitations of this device.