Use Of Polyvinyl Alcohol-porcine Small Intestine Submucosa Stent In The Prevention Of Anastomotic Leaks In The Porcine Colon

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Journal of Surgical Research


Introduction: Gastrointestinal anastomoses are performed millions of times per year worldwide. The major complication they share is anastomotic leak. We describe the development and initial safety/efficacy of a novel luminal stent which aims to address this clinical issue. Materials and methods: The stent was created out of two materials, a polyvinyl alcohol core and outer layer of acellular porcine small intestine submucosa. Ten healthy pigs underwent laparotomy, a portion of the colon was transected, and the stent was placed within the colonic lumen at the site of resection. Pigs were sacrificed at the end of postoperative week 2, and postoperative week 4. A portion of the descending colon was resected, and tissue samples from the anastomosis, intentional defect scar, and normal bowel overlying the stent were sent for histopathologic examination. Results: All ten animals survived the study. None developed any clinical signs of obstruction, infection, leakage, fistula, wound complications, or bleeding. No evidence of colonic leak or luminal stenosis/stricture was noted. Conclusions: The results of this study show that a polyvinyl alcohol/acellular porcine small intestine submucosa stent sewn underneath a colonic anastomosis with a 2 cm intentional defect will result in no anastomotic complications. There were also no complications from placing this stent in any pigs. Additional studies with a control group should be conducted to see if this same stent can be built in different diameters, lengths, and configurations to prevent leaks in other organs. These encouraging results will hopefully lead to decreased leaks and the need for temporary ostomies in humans.

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