A surgical stapling instrument for the joining together of tubular body organs. The instrument comprises an elongated cylindrical body supporting at its distal end a staple carrier containing at least one annular array of staples, a staple driver for each array and a cylindrical scalpel. A conical anvil is located beyond the staple carrier at the distal end of the instrument body and carries an annular anvil plate for clinching the staples of the one or more arrays thereof. The anvil has an elongated shank extending within the instrument body. The anvil and its shank are shiftable axially of the instrument body by an anvil drive screw at the proximal end of the instrument between a position wherein the anvil plate is adjacent the staple carrier and a position wherein the anvil plate is spaced from the staple carrier. An elongated hollow staple driver actuator is located within the instrument body, surrounding the anvil shank and is axially shiftable between a retracted position and a staple driving position by a staple drive wheel located at the proximal end of the instrument. An elongated hollow scalpel actuator is located within the instrument body surrounding the staple driver actuator and is axially shiftable between a retracted position and a scalpel driving position by a scalpel drive wheel at the proximal end of the instrument. A series of latch means are provided so that the various components of the instrument, during the anastomosis steps, can be operated only at the proper time and in the proper sequence.