Background: Several minimal invasive, mainly laparoscopic-assisted, techniques for reversal of Hartmann's procedure (HP) have been published. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess a minimal invasive procedure through the stomal site that may compare favorably with open or laparoscopic-assisted procedures in terms of operative time, hospital stay and postoperative complications. Methods: HP reversal through the stomal side was attempted in 13 consecutive patients. Lysis of intra-abdominal adhesions was done manually through an incision at the formal stoma side, without direct vision between thumb and index finger. The rectal stump was identified intra-abdominally using a transanal rigid club. A manually controlled stapled end-to-end colorectal anastomosis was created. Results: Mean duration of operation was 81 min (range 58-109 min); mean hospital stay was 4.2 days (range 2-7 days). In two patients the procedure was converted because of strong adhesions in the lower pelvic cavity around the rectal stump that could not be lysed manually safely. No complications occurred in the patients in whom reversal was completely done through the stomal site. Conclusions: In our opinion, restoration of intestinal continuity through the stomal side after HP is a feasible operation, without need for additional incisions. In the hands of a specialist gastrointestinal surgeon this technique can be attempted in all patients, as conversion to a laparoscopic-assisted or an open procedure can be performed when necessary.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,,
Surgical Endoscopy: surgical and interventional techniques
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam