Fifty-six patients underwent large bowel anastomosis by the compression anastomotic device developed by the authors from May 1986 through December 1988. Operations performed were 40 left hemicolectomies or anterior resections of the sigmoid and rectum, 7 left colon resections, 7 right hemicolectomies, and 2 total colectomies. Twentyone anastomoses were done on the extraperitoneal rectum, in 7 cases less than 4 cm from the anal verge and in 9 cases between 4.5 and 8 cm. Five intraoperative diverting colostomies were done (9%). The rings of the device were evacuated postoperatively after a mean of 11 days with little or no discomfort. Operative mortality was 1.8% (one patient died of myocardial infarction). Anastomotic complications were one (1.8%) clinical and one (1.8%) subclinical leak. Mean postoperative hospital stay was 14 days. This initial clinical experience shows that the anastomotic device is reliable.
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