[Esophageal anastomosis--based on the experience with 1460 operations].
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The authors reviewed the clinical records of 1460 patients with esophageal anastomoses, the operations performed in their institute between 1973 and 2000. Surgical outcome was assessed with incidence of anastomotic leaks and overall mortality. Hand-sewn anastomoses were performed by inserting single layer interrupted monofil steel wire (507), PDS (232) or Vicryl (65) sutures and circular stapler (EEA, Ethicon) was used in 656 patients. 453 (65 cervical, 293 thoracic, and 95 abdominal) anastomoses performed between 1995 and 2000 were analyzed separately. During this 6-year period, the majority of operations (88%) were performed because of esophageal malignancy (squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus or adenocarcinoma of the cardia). Surgery was performed for benign disease (e.g. stricture, perforation, and stage IV achalasia) in 12%. The incidence of anastomotic leak was the highest (20%) after cervical anastomosis, compared to a 4.4% or 1% associated with thoracic or abdominal anastomoses. These differences are statistically significant (p < 0.001). The rate of anastomotic leakage was strongly connected to surgical technique: it was 15% in hand-sewn anastomoses and only 4.4% with stapled anastomosis. During the 6-year period overall mortality was 6.6%t.
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