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Anastomosis

An anastomosis is a surgical connection between two structures. It usually means a connection that is created between tubular structures, such as blood vessels or loops of intestine.

For example, when part of an intestine is surgically removed, the two remaining ends are sewn or stapled together (anastomosed). The procedure is known as an intestinal anastomosis.

Information

Examples of surgical anastomoses are:

  • Arteriovenous fistula (an opening created between an artery and vein) for dialysis
  • Colostomy (an opening created between the bowel and the skin of the abdominal wall)
  • Intestinal, in which two ends of intestine are sewn together
  • A connection between a graft and a blood vessel to create a bypass

References

Mahmoud NN, Bleier JIS, Aarons CB, Paulson EC, Shanmugan S, Fry RD. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 51.

  • Gastrectomy

    Gastrectomy - illustration

    The stomach connects the esophagus to the small intestine, and functions to break up food into small particles that can be absorbed by the small intestine. In cases of chronic stomach problems (such as ulcers), obesity or cancer, partial or total removal of the stomach may be indicated. In the procedure, the diseased portion of the stomach is removed and the small intestine is attached to the remainder of the stomach to maintain the integrity of the digestive tract. The patient will be on nasograstric tube suction to keep the stomach empty and at rest after surgery. After several days, and when the stomach starts to function normally again, the tube will be removed and the patient will begin ingesting clear liquids and gradually progress to a full and normal diet.

    Gastrectomy

    illustration

  • Before and after small intestine anastomosis

    Before and after small intestine anastomosis - illustration

    In all cases of intestinal obstruction, the intestine involved is carefully examined. If any parts of the intestine look unhealthy from lack of blood flow during the period of obstruction, they are removed and the healthy ends are reconnected. A patients recovery depends on the cause of the intestinal obstruction and the length of time prior to relief of the obstruction. The outcome is usually good if the obstruction is treated before damage (ischemia) or death (necrosis) of the bowel occurs.

    Before and after small intestine anastomosis

    illustration

    • Gastrectomy

      Gastrectomy - illustration

      The stomach connects the esophagus to the small intestine, and functions to break up food into small particles that can be absorbed by the small intestine. In cases of chronic stomach problems (such as ulcers), obesity or cancer, partial or total removal of the stomach may be indicated. In the procedure, the diseased portion of the stomach is removed and the small intestine is attached to the remainder of the stomach to maintain the integrity of the digestive tract. The patient will be on nasograstric tube suction to keep the stomach empty and at rest after surgery. After several days, and when the stomach starts to function normally again, the tube will be removed and the patient will begin ingesting clear liquids and gradually progress to a full and normal diet.

      Gastrectomy

      illustration

    • Before and after small intestine anastomosis

      Before and after small intestine anastomosis - illustration

      In all cases of intestinal obstruction, the intestine involved is carefully examined. If any parts of the intestine look unhealthy from lack of blood flow during the period of obstruction, they are removed and the healthy ends are reconnected. A patients recovery depends on the cause of the intestinal obstruction and the length of time prior to relief of the obstruction. The outcome is usually good if the obstruction is treated before damage (ischemia) or death (necrosis) of the bowel occurs.

      Before and after small intestine anastomosis

      illustration


     

    Review Date: 6/11/2018

    Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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