The water soluble contrast enema after rectal anastomosis

A. J. Shorthouse, C. I. Bartram, A. A. Eyers, J. P S Thomson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


A retrospective study of 135 consecutive postoperative water soluble contrast enemas has been performed to establish the safety of the technique and indications for its use. Normal and abnormal appearances at various levels of rectal anastomsis have been described. Postrectal fluid collections are associated with anastomotic dehiscence and may be a cause rather than effect. One low colorectal anastomosis was disrupted during administration of the enema; the procedure was otherwise safe and free from complication. The postoperative water soluble contrast enema is presented primarily as a research tool to define the true anastomotic leak rate, but may be useful in the diagnosis of a postrectal collection and to define the extent of an established leak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-717
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes


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