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Open Access Research article

Improved access and visibility during stapling of the ultra-low rectum: a comparative human cadaver study between two curved staplers

David E Rivadeneira1*, Juan Carlos Verdeja2 and Toyooki Sonoda3

Author Affiliations

1 Saint Catherine of Siena Medical Center, Smithtown, NY, USA

2 Baptist Hospital of Miami, Miami, FL, USA

3 Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA

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Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research 2012, 6:11  doi:10.1186/1750-1164-6-11

Published: 13 November 2012

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to compare in human cadavers the applicability of a commonly used stapling device, the CONTOUR® curved cutter (CC) (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Cincinnati, OH) to a newly released, curved stapler, the Endo GIA™ Radial Reload with Tri-Staple™ Technology (RR) (Covidien, New Haven, CT)

Methods

Four experienced surgeons performed deep pelvic dissection with total mesorectal excision (TME) of the rectum in twelve randomized male cadavers. Both stapling devices were applied to the ultra-low rectum in coronal and sagittal configurations. Extensive measurements were recorded of anatomic landmarks for each cadaver pelvis along with various aspects of access, visibility, and ease of placement for each device.

Results

The RR reached significantly lower into the pelvis in both the coronal and sagittal positions compared to the CC. The median distance from the pelvic floor was 1.0 cm compared to 2.0 cm in the coronal position, and 1.0 cm versus 3.3 cm placed sagitally, p < 0.0001. Surgeons gave a higher visibility rating with less visual impediment in the sagittal plane using the RR Stapler. Impediment of visibility occurred in only 10% (5/48) of RR applications in the coronal position, compared to a rate of 48% (23/48) using the CC, p = 0.0002.

Conclusions

The RR device performed significantly better when compared to the CC stapler in regards to placing the stapler further into the deep pelvis and closer to the pelvic floor, while causing less obstructing of visualization.