Indexed on: 09 May '08Published on: 09 May '08Published in: Colorectal Disease
Rectal stricture/stenosis is a well-recognized complication following anterior resection. Completely stenosed rectal anastomoses have been conventionally treated conservatively with permanent stoma. The surgical alternatives are either a redo low resection with its accompanying hazards or formation of a permanent colostomy. We describe a simple method of treating anastomotic stenoses using a novel technique in patients with a defunctioned bowel.Three patients with complete stenosis of a rectal anastomosis following anterior resection underwent this novel technique with informed consent. A stenosis with no identifiable lumen was diagnosed at the time of examination under anaesthetic (EUA) or by contrast enema. Using a novel technique of combined endoscopic and radiology guidance, the anastomotic stenosis was rebored and subsequently dilated to restore bowel continuity.There were no complications observed following this procedure. Two of the three patients needed repeat endoscopic dilatation. All patients had restoration of the lumen in the anastomosis and subsequently underwent closure of ileostomy and made an uneventful recovery.Combined endoscopic dilatation under radiological guidance is a novel technique and appears to be a simple, safe, effective and inexpensive method for treating rectal anastomotic stenoses.