Introduction and aims: An anastomotic leak is one of the most dreaded complications in colorectal surgery because it increases postoperative morbidity and mortality. The aim of the present study was to identify whether indocyanine green fluorescence angiography (ICGFA) reduced the anastomotic dehiscence rate in colorectal surgery.

Material and methods: A retrospective study on patients that underwent colorectal surgery with colonic resection or low anterior resection and primary anastomosis, within the time frame of January 2019 and September 2021, was conducted. The patients were divided into the case group, in which ICGFA was performed for the intraoperative evaluation of blood perfusion at the anastomosis site, and the control group, in which ICGFA was not utilized.

Results: A total of 168 medical records were reviewed, resulting in 83 cases and 85 controls. Inadequate perfusion that required changing the surgical site of the anastomosis was identified in 4.8% of the case group (n = 4). A trend toward reducing the leak rate with ICGFA was identified (6% [n = 5] in the cases vs 7.1% in the controls [n = 6] [p = 0.999]). The patients that underwent anastomosis site change due to inadequate perfusion had a 0% leak rate.

Conclusions: ICGFA as a method to evaluate intraoperative blood perfusion showed a trend toward reducing the incidence of anastomotic leak in colorectal surgery.

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