Intra-Abdominal Complications Following Intestinal Anastomoses by Suture and Staple Techniques in Dogs

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OBJECTIVE To compare the incidence of intra-abdominal complications in dogs following resection and functional end-to-end stapled anastomosis (FEESA) versus anastomosis with an end-to-end sutured technique for treatment of enteric lesions.

DESIGN Multicenter, retrospective descriptive cohort study.

ANIMALS 180 dogs.

PROCEDURES Medical records of dogs undergoing intestinal resection and anastomosis at 3 nonaffiliated private practice specialty centers were retrospectively reviewed. Preoperative clinical variables, indication for surgery, surgical technique (sutured end-to-end anastomosis vs FEESA), and evidence of postoperative anastomosis site leakage (dehiscence) were recorded. Variables of interest were analyzed for associations with dehiscence.

RESULTS Dehiscence rates of sutured and stapled anastomoses were 12 of 93 (13%) and 4 of 87 (5%), respectively; odds of postoperative dehiscence were significantly lower for dogs with FEESAs than for dogs with sutured anastomoses (OR, 0.28; 95% confidence interval, 0.09 to 0.94). Among dogs that underwent surgery for treatment of intestinal dehiscence after surgery at another facility, subsequent dehiscence developed in 3 of 5 with sutured anastomoses and 0 of 11 with stapled anastomoses. Dehiscence rates varied significantly among clinics. No other variable was associated with risk of dehiscence. Eleven of 16 dogs with dehiscence were euthanized without additional surgery. Impaction at the anastomosis site was identified months or years after surgery in 3 dogs (4 anastomosis sites) that had FEESAs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Odds for dehiscence were significantly greater for sutured end-to-end anastomoses than FEESAs, and dogs undergoing surgery for previous dehiscence were significantly more likely to experience a subsequent dehiscence with a sutured anastomosis. However, variability of procedure types and dehiscence rates among clinics suggested further research is needed to confirm these findings. Obstruction at the anastomosis site was identified as a potential long-term complication of FEESA.