• Following resection of the sigmoid and descending colon for cancer or extensive diverticular disease, it may be impossible to make a colorectal anastomosis due to inadequate length of the residual transverse colon. To correct this problem, the remaining transverse colon may be pulled into the pelvis by making a "window" in the terminal part of the ileal mesentery.
From January 1966 to January 1975, 302 resections of the descending colon with colorectal anastomoses were performed by one of the authors (R.B.T.) for upper sigmoid cancer and extensive diverticulitis at the Cleveland Clinic. Eleven patients (4%) had retroileal colorectal anastomoses.
The retroileal approach is a technical aid when performing an extensive left-sided colectomy and/or when there is insufficient length of residual transverse colon to make a tension-free colorectal anastomosis.
(Arch Surg 113:1004-1005, 1978)