Background and aims. Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent digestive malignancies, being the third cause of death by cancer, despite early diagnosis and therapeutic progress made over the past years. Standard treatment in these patients is to preserve the anal sphincter with restoration of intestinal function by mechanical colorectal anastomosis or coloanal anastomosis, and to maintain genitourinary function by preservation of hypogastric nerves.

Methods. In order to emphasize the importance of this surgical technique in the Fourth Surgical Clinic of the CF Clinical Hospital Cluj-Napoca, we conducted a prospective observational interventional study over a 3-year period (2013-2016) in 165 patients hospitalized for rectal and rectosigmoid adenocarcinoma in various disease stages, who underwent Dixon surgery using the two techniques of manual and mechanical end-to-end anastomosis. For mechanical anastomosis, we used Covidien and Panther circular staplers. The patients were assigned to two groups, group A in which Dixon surgery with manual end-to-end anastomosis was performed (116 patients), and group B in which Dixon surgery with mechanical end-to-end anastomosis was carried out (49 patients).

Results. Mechanical anastomosis allowed to restore intestinal continuity following low anterior resection in 21 patients with lower rectal adenocarcinoma compared to 2 patients in whom intestinal continuity was restored by manual anastomosis, with a statistically significant difference (p<0.000001). The double-row mechanical suture technique is associated with a reduced duration of surgery (121.67 minutes for Dixon surgery with mechanical anastomosis, compared to 165.931 minutes for Dixon surgery with manual anastomosis, p<0.0001).

Conclusion. The use of circular transanal staplers facilitates end-to-end anastomosis by double-row mechanical suture, allowing to perform low anterior resection in situations when the restoration of intestinal continuity by manual anastomosis is technically not possible, with the aim to preserve the anal sphincter, to restore intestinal function and maintain genitourinary function through preservation of hypogastric nerves.


rectal cancer, low anterior resection, circular stapler, mechanical anastomosis