Background: Adhesions follow abdominal surgery with an incidence as high as 95%, resulting in invalidating complications such as bowel obstruction, female infertility, and chronic pain. Searches have been performed for a safe and effective adhesion barrier; however, such barriers have impaired anastomotic site healing. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a new adhesion barrier, polyvinyl alcohol gel, on healing of colonic anastomoses using a rat model. Methods: Thirty-two Wistar rats were divided in two groups. In all animals, an anastomosis was constructed in the ascending colon. The first group received no adhesion barrier, whereas in the second group, 2mL of polyvinyl alcohol gel (A-Part Gel®; Aesculap AG, Tuttlingen, Germany) was applied circularly around the anastomosis. All animals were sacrificed on the seventh post-operative day, and the abdomen was inspected for signs of anastomotic leakage. The anastomotic bursting pressure, the adhesions around the anastomosis, and the collagen content of the excised anastomosis were measured. Results: No significant differences were observed between the two groups in the incidence of anastomotic leakage, the anastomotic bursting pressure (p=0.08), or the collagen concentration (p=0.91). No significant reduction in amount of adhesions was observed in the rats receiving polyvinyl alcohol gel. Conclusions: This experimental study showed no significant differences in anastomotic leakage, anastomotic bursting pressure, or collagen content of the anastomosis when using the adhesion barrier polyvinyl alcohol around colonic anastomoses. The barrier did not prevent adhesion formation.

Surgical Infections
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Slieker, J.C, Ditzel, M, Harlaar, J.J, Mulder, I.M, Deerenberg, E.B, Bastiaansen-Jenniskens, Y.M, … Lange, J.F. (2012). Effects of new anti-adhesion polyvinyl alcohol gel on healing of colon anastomoses in rats. Surgical Infections, 13(6), 396–400. doi:10.1089/sur.2011.114