The main serious risks of anastomotic construction in the colon and rectum include dehiscence and stricture formation. There is a resurgence of interest in sutureless anastomoses formed by compression elements since the introduction of shape memory alloy (SMA) systems, which evoke minimal early inflammatory response whilst maintaining anastomotic integrity. Currently, the most commonly used SMA is the nickel-titanium (NiTi) alloy that is highly biocompatible, returning to its predeformed stable (austenite) shape under different mechanical and thermal loads for use in humans. Pre-clinical data for shape memory alloy systems in colorectal anastomoses are limited, but it appears to be safe in porcine and canine models with limited leakage and reduced stricture formation. There does not appear to be any difference in tissue biochemistry of inflammatory markers when compared with conventional stapled techniques, although the few studies available show a markedly reduced early inflammatory response at the anastomotic site with the NiTi device. The majority of the clinical data concerning compression anastomoses are derived from the biofragmentable anastomotic ring device. This device has fallen out of use because of reported leaks, instrumental failure and problems with device expulsion. A novel SMA device, the NiTi anastomotic ring, permits construction of a low rectal anastomosis construction during open or laparoscopic procedures. The preliminary data demonstrate a safety comparable to conventional staple technology. This device also provides the potential of benefit of reduced anastomotic inflammation, because the compression ring results in direct serosato- serosa (or alternatively serosa-to-muscularis propria) apposition without the persistence of residual foreign material. This type of construction could lead to a reduced incidence of early anastomotic leakage and/or the development of anastomotic stenosis. Randomized clinical trials employing a NiTi arm for elective, emergency and high-risk colorectal anastomoses are required to determine its indications and clinical profile as well as to assess whether such technology may selectively obviate the need for proximal diversion in low colorectal anastomoses.
- Biofragmentable anastomotic ring
- Compression anastomosis
- Shape memory alloys
- Sutureless anastomosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas