Ann Surg Treat Res.  2015 Dec;89(6):313-318. 10.4174/astr.2015.89.6.313.

Transanal tube placement for prevention of anastomotic leakage following low anterior resection for rectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • 1Research Institute of Clinical Medicine of Chonbuk National University-Biomedical Research Institute of Chonbuk National University Hospital, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 2Institute for Evidence-Based Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Anastomotic leakage following low anterior resection (LAR) for rectal cancer is a serious complication that increases morbidity and mortality rates. Transanal tube placement may reduce postoperative anastomotic leakage rate by reducing intraluminal pressure and preventing fecal extrusion through the staple line. This meta-analysis evaluated the effectiveness of transanal tube placement to prevent anastomotic leakage after LAR for rectal cancer using a stapling technique.
A systematic review of the literature was consistent with the recommendations of the PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses) statement. Multiple comprehensive databases, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and KoreaMed, were searched. The main study outcomes were anastomotic leakage.
Two randomized clinical trials and 4 nonrandomized studies involving 1,118 patients were included. Subgroup analyses of randomized clinical trials found that transanal tube placement had no effect on study outcomes. Meta-analysis of nonrandomized studies showed that transanal tube placement was associated with a lower incidence of anastomotic leakage (relative risk, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.15-0.67; I2 = 0%).
Transanal tube placement may be effective in preventing or reducing the occurrence of anastomotic leakage after LAR for rectal cancer using a stapling technique. Randomized clinical trials with sufficient power are needed to confirm the benefit of transanal tube placement.


Colorectal neoplasm; Colorectal surgery; Anastomotic leak; Transanal tube

MeSH Terms

Anastomotic Leak*
Colorectal Neoplasms
Colorectal Surgery
Rectal Neoplasms*
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