International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 55–61 | Cite as

Influence of suture technique on anastomotic leakage rate—a retrospective analyses comparing interrupted—versus continuous—sutures

  • Roman EickhoffEmail author
  • Simon B. Eickhoff
  • Serdar Katurman
  • Christian D. Klink
  • Daniel Heise
  • Andreas Kroh
  • Ulf P. Neumann
  • Marcel Binnebösel
Original Article



While many hospitals consider a continuous sutured colonic anastomosis with monofilamental fiber the current state of the art, others have advocated for interrupted sutures as the gold standard. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of suture technique on leakage rate (primary endpoint), wound infections, postoperative stay, and mortality.


Retrospective analyses of 347 patients (273 elective, 74 urgent) over 6 years with a handsewn colonic anastomosis (190 interrupted, 157 continuous), excluding sigma and rectum anastomosis. Demographic and surgical baseline characteristics were used as competing predictors.


Overall leakage rate was 9% but strongly dependent on suture technique (interrupted: 16%; continuous: 2.5%; p = 0.001) yielding an odds ratio of 5.10 [95% CI: 2.55, 6.71] (relative risk of leakage). No other variable showed a significant influence on leakage rate. Postoperative stay was prolonged in the interrupted suture group (23 ± 15 vs. 16 ± 11 days; p = 0.000, attributable effect 7.5 days [4.7, 10.3]).


Our results indicate a highly significant reduction of anastomotic leakage rate and postoperative stay that generalize to the underlying population by continuous sutures in handsewn colonic anastomosis. In the absence of randomized prospective studies, the current results provide the yet strongest evidence for the superiority of continuous sutures.


Anastomotic leakage Interrupted suture technique Continuous suture technique Anastomotic technique Colon anastomosis 


Author’s contributions

The contributions of each author in preparing the manuscript are as follows: study conception and design: R. E., S.K., M.B., acquisition of data: R.E., S.K. M.B., analysis and interpretation of data: R.E., S.E. M.B. C.K. A.K. D.H. Drafting of manuscript: R.E., S.E., M.B. Critical revision of manuscript: M.B., S.E., U.N., C.K., A.K., D.H.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the local ethics committee (EK 093/16). All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation SurgeryRWTH Aachen University HospitalAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Medical SchoolHeinrich-Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-7) Research Center JülichJülichGermany

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