Histological examination of circular stapled ‘doughnuts’: Questionable routine practice?
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BACKGROUND: Left-sided colonic resections are often anastomosed by the use of the circular stapling gun. Most surgeons routinely submit the resulting set of 'doughnuts' for histological examination. AIM: The aim of this study is to question the need for this practice by providing our own experience of the impact of 'doughnut' submission on patient management. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients who had undergone a stapled anastomosis for colorectal cancer resection (1998-2004) were identified from the department cancer database and clinical records and histopathological reports were reviewed for all cases. RESULTS: From a consecutive series of 100 sets of doughnuts only two showed histological abnormality (inflammatory change and a metaplastic polyp). Three patients had local recurrence over the follow-up period: 12, 14 and 36 months after surgery. Histological review of the 'doughnuts' in these patients did not show any abnormality. None of the above findings had any influence on subsequent management. CONCLUSION: Histological examination of the 'doughnuts' has a considerable impact in terms of time and resource use. This study has shown no benefit in performing routine histological examination of the 'doughnuts'.
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