Purpose. The aim of this study was to compare characteristics of rectal compression and stapled anastomoses at multiple time points. Methods. A total of 50 domestic pigs underwent a rectal anastomosis with a compression device or a circular stapler. They were sacrificed at zero-time, 2 days, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months. Burst and maximal tolerated pressure and sites of failure, internal diameters, and radiographic leak rates were assessed. Desmosine (elastin) levels were determined. Results. There were no clinical or radiographic leaks. Overall, 10 out of 27 (37%) compression anastomoses burst at higher pressures than the 14 out of 24 (58%) stapled anastomoses. Mean circumference and anastomotic index were greater for the EndoCAR at 1 week and 3 months. Desmosine levels were similar. Conclusions. In the porcine model, compression rectal anastomoses with the EndoCAR had improved bursting pressures and internal circumference compared with circular stapled anastomoses.
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