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October 19, 2009

No Anastomotic Leaks After Colorectal Surgery in Rural Community Hospitals—Reply

Arch Surg. 2009;144(10):977-980. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2009.175

In reply

We commend Dr Schittek for taking the time to review his outcomes and for his excellent results. Self- and peer review are important parts of the practice of surgery, whether in a large academic center or solo practice, and allow us to insure that we are providing patients with the best care possible. We should all strive to reduce our leak rate to 0. In our series of 4012 patients undergoing colon or rectal resections, we identified 58 anastomotic leaks, for an incidence of 1.5%. We understand the pressure faced by community surgeons to maintain good outcomes.