Smoking is a major risk factor for anastomotic leak in patients undergoing low anterior resection
Article first published online: 30 MAR 2012
© 2011 The Authors. Colorectal Disease © 2011 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland
Volume 14, Issue 5, pages 628–633, May 2012
How to Cite
Richards, C. H., Campbell, V., Ho, C., Hayes, J., Elliott, T. and Thompson-Fawcett, M. (2012), Smoking is a major risk factor for anastomotic leak in patients undergoing low anterior resection. Colorectal Disease, 14: 628–633. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2011.02718.x
- Issue published online: 30 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 30 MAR 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 12 JUL 2011 04:45PM EST
- Received 16 February 2011; accepted 4 May 2011; Accepted Article online 12 July 2011
- Anastomotic leak;
- low anterior resection
Aim To examine modifiable risk factors for anastomotic leak in patients undergoing low anterior resection.
Method In total 233 patients undergoing low anterior resection for benign and malignant disease over a 10-year period at a single surgical unit were identified from a prospective database. The relationships between anastomotic leak and 17 variables were examined, including patient demographics, operative technique, tumour pathology, preoperative physiological function and smoking status.
Results The majority (91%) of operations were carried out for rectal cancers, and 24 procedures (10%) were performed with laparoscopic assistance. The overall anastomotic leak rate was 14% (33/233). Patients with anastomotic leak had higher 30-day mortality (6%vs 1%, P < 0.05) and stayed significantly longer in hospital (median 23 vs 10 days, P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, current smokers (OR 3.68, 95% CI 1.38–9.82, P = 0.009) and patients with evidence of metastatic malignant disease (OR 3.43, 95% CI 1.29–9.13, P =0.013) were at increased risk of anastomotic leak.
Conclusion Smoking and the presence of metastatic disease are major risk factors for the development of anastomotic leak following low anterior resection.