Background: Fundamental experimental research into intestinal anastomotic healing in rodent models will gain increasing interest in the future. Methods: The aim of this study was to describe our 5-year experience with a standardized experimental setup of small and large bowel anastomoses in a rodent model and present a basic set of assessment tools investigating anastomotic healing. Anastomotic technique, perioperative complications such as anastomotic insufficiency (AI) and obstructive ileus were in the focus. Results: During different studies with varying study patterns, 167 rat small bowel anastomoses and 120 colonic anastomoses were performed. Overall mortality was 3.6% in small bowel and 2.5% in colonic anastomoses, AI occurred in 2.9 and 4%, respectively. A postoperative obstructive ileus was seen in 3/167 small bowel anastomoses and none in the colonic group. Conclusion: When performing experimental intestinal anastomoses in a standardized operative setting and critically considering special perioperative issues, the incidence of relevant complications can be maintained at an adequately low level.

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