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An anastomosis is a surgical connection between two structures. It usually means a connection that is created between tubular structures, such as blood vessels or loops of intestine.

For example, when part of an intestine is surgically removed, the two remaining ends are sewn or stapled together (anastomosed). The procedure is known as an intestinal anastomosis.


Examples of surgical anastomoses are:

  • Arteriovenous (an opening created between an artery and vein) for
  • Colostomy (an opening created between the bowel and the abdomen)
  • Intestinal, in which two ends of intestine are sewn together
  • A connection between a graft and a blood vessel to create a bypass


Fry RD, Mahmoud NN, Maron DJ, Bleier JIS. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 52.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/30/2014
  • John A. Daller, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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