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Am Surg. 2014 Jan;80(1):26-30.

Laparoscopic total mesorectal excision for ultralow rectal cancer with transanal intersphincteric dissection as a first step: a single-surgeon experience.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Sapienza University, II Faculty of Medicine, ''St. Andrea'' Hospital, Rome, Italy.


Laparoscopic intersphincteric resection (ISR) after neoadjuvant chemoradiation is helpful in the management of patients with low rectal cancer. With the advent of this technique, the need for performance of abdominoperineal resection seems to have decreased in patients with very low rectal tumors. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility of laparoscopic ISR preceded by transanal rectal dissection low rectal cancer. Between December 2009 and June 2011, we performed laparoscopic ISR for 30 patients with very low rectal cancer. Patients received preoperative concurrent chemoradiation (5 days a week for 5 weeks). The surgical procedure was performed 6 weeks after radiotherapy and included total mesorectal excision, ISR, transanal coloanal anastomosis with coloplasty and loop ileostomy. Clinical data of 30 patients were analyzed retrospectively. Thirty patients (21 men, nine women) had a median age of 65 years (range, 37 to 75 years), a median body weight of 67 kg (range, 43 to 96 kg), and body mass index of 24 kg/m(2) (range, 19 to 33 kg/m(2)). The distance of the tumor from the anal verge was 5 cm (range, 2 to 11 cm). The operative time was from 240 to 360 minutes, and estimated blood loss was 100 to 520 mL. There were no conversions and no postoperative mortality. This procedure is feasible and has favorable short-term results for radical treatment of very low rectal disease while preserving anal function.

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