BACKGROUND: Anastomotic leakage is a morbid and potentially fatal complication of colorectal surgery. Determination of pre- and intraoperative risk factors may identify patients requiring increased postoperative surveillance for this major complication.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors associated with anastomotic leakage after colectomy with primary intra-abdominal anastomosis.
DESIGN: The prospective, statewide multicenter Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative database was analyzed.
SETTING: This study was performed at academic and community medical centers in the state of Michigan.
PATIENTS: Included were all cases of open and laparoscopic colectomy with primary intra-abdominal anastomosis from 2007 through 2010.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Univariate analysis followed by a multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine the influence of patient factors and operative events with respect to the incidence of postoperative anastomotic leakage.
RESULTS: Inclusion criteria were met by 4340 cases. Anastomotic leakage occurred in 85 (3.2%) of the 2626 (60.5%) open colectomies, and in 51 (3.0%) of the 1714 (39.5%) laparoscopic procedures, which was not significantly different (p = 0.63). Significant risk factors associated with anastomotic leakage based on the multivariate logistic regression model were fecal contamination with OR 2.51, 95% CI, 1.16 to 5.45, p = 0.02; and intraoperative blood loss of more than 100 mL and 300 mL, with OR 1.62, 95% CI, 1.10 to 2.40, p = 0.02; and OR 2.22, 95% CI, 1.32 to 3.76, p = 0.003.
LIMITATIONS: The Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative colectomy project excluded high-risk rectal resections and low pelvic anastomoses. Information about operative technique and intraoperative events is limited, and anastomotic leakage was determined through chart review.
CONCLUSION: Fecal contamination and increased blood loss during colectomy should raise suspicion for potential postoperative anastomotic leakage.