We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Anastomosis?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An anastomosis is a surgical procedure that is performed to connect two structures together inside the body. Anastomosis is most commonly used to secure upper and lower sections of the large intestine together after a middle section must be removed. Surgeons can also use the procedure following a major operation on the small intestine, esophagus, bladder, or bile duct. A specialized type is performed when a damaged area of an artery or vein must be bypassed or when blood vessels need to be connected to a transplanted organ. Recent advancements in tools and techniques allow the operation to be performed in a minimally-invasive fashion with the aid of an endoscopic camera.

In the past, patients who suffered from colon cancer or severe inflammatory bowel disease had few surgical options. When the entire colon had to be removed, the lower section of the small intestine was connected to a surgical opening in the abdomen. A colostomy bag outside of the body was used to collect waste, and the patient was rendered incontinent. Ileoanal anastomosis procedures eliminate the need for external colostomy bags and allow people to have normal, controlled bowel movements.

During an ileoanal anastomosis, the rectum is detached from the anal cavity and the colon is cut away from the ileum, the base of the small intestine. The surgeon then connects the ileum to the anal cavity with the aid of sutures and pins. The procedure is often performed endoscopically through several small incisions in the abdomen rather than a large open cut. A surgeon uses the endoscope to view the procedure on a monitor and to direct precision instruments.

Similar anastomosis procedures can be used when a part of the urethra, esophagus, or small intestine needs to be removed. Upper and lower sections are either stapled or sutured together to preserve normal functioning. Patients who have severely clogged arteries may be candidates for arterial anastomosis, which involves severing a damaged blood vessel at its base and attaching it to a donor vessel to bypass the blockage. Most arterial procedures take place in the chest and neck, though special operations can be used to correct blood flow problems in the legs, arms, groin, or brain.

All types of surgery have inherent risks, although skilled surgeons can minimize the chances of major complications. If the sutured area is not properly secured, it can become infected by bacteria. Excess bleeding or leakage of other body fluids is another common concern. Surgeons typically schedule frequent checkups following procedures to check for signs of complications.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By donasmrs — On Mar 24, 2013

My grandfather had an ileoanal anastomosis last year. He had colon cancer.

He was in the hospital for about a week, then he came home but was on bed rest most of the time. He also had an external pouch for stool. He really hated that because the part that was attached to his skin would hurt him a lot.

I think doctors can also place internal pouches, I don't know why they didn't do that with him.

By fBoyle — On Mar 23, 2013

@burcidi-- Yes, I had a resection anastomosis. The diseased part of my intestine was removed and the two parts were connected back together.

It was an emergency operation, so I didn't really know what was going on until after. I did experience a complication, a small leakage where the connection was made. But it wasn't a major problem, it healed on its own in several weeks on antibiotics.

Of course, there is some discomfort during recovery. I was on a liquid diet and pain relievers for a while. But the discomfort was nothing compared to the symptoms I was experiencing before surgery.

Are you due for a resection soon?

By burcidi — On Mar 22, 2013

Has anyone had a gastrointestinal anastomosis because of Crohn's disease? How was the recovery?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.