Long-term efficacy of vacuum-assisted therapy (Endo-SPONGE®) in large anastomotic leakages following anterior rectal resection

Authors Alessandro Mussetto, Rosario Arena, Andrea Buzzi, Lorenzo Fuccio, Silvia Dari, Mario Luciano Brancaccio, Omero Triossi.


Background The aim of our study was to test the long-term efficacy of Endo-SPONGE® therapy in a group of patients treated in our center with vacuum-assisted therapy because of anastomotic leakages after colorectal surgery.

Methods Eleven patients [male: 6; mean age: 71 (range: 44-82) years] who had anastomotic leakage treated with Endo-SPONGE® placement were included in the study. Patient records were examined retrospectively. All patients with documented anastomotic leakage on abdominal computed tomography following an anterior resection of the rectum for rectal cancer underwent sigmoidoscopy to determine the extent of the anastomotic defect and the size of the presacral abscess.

Results Ten of the 11 patients (90.9%) showed closure of the anastomotic leakage after a mean of 16 sponge changes. During follow up [mean: 29 (range: 6-64) months], we observed two cases of anastomotic stricture. Treatment failure was observed in one patient who presented an increased size of dehiscence after 23 sessions of endoscopic treatment, despite an initial good response.

Conclusions Our study substantially confirms previous conclusions and reaffirms that Endo-SPONGE® treatment for colorectal anastomotic leakages, performed in suitable patients, represents a successful and safe approach. The reduction in wound closure time, mild-to-moderate discomfort and possibly shorter hospitalization suggest that Endo-SPONGE® treatment can be a prominent therapeutic regimen with adequate patient acceptance.

Keywords Endo-SPONGE® therapy, anastomotic leakage, colorectal surgery, rectal cancer

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (6): 649-653

Original Articles