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Colorectal Dis. 2010 Jul;12(7 Online):e99-103. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2009.02071.x. Epub 2009 Oct 19.

Complications of transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS): a prospective audit.

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1
Department of Colorectal Surgery, St Richard's Hospital, Spitalfield Lane, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 6SE, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this study was to determine the postoperative complications of Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEMS) excision of rectal lesions.

METHOD:

A prospective audit of 262 consecutive TEMS procedures performed by a single surgeon between 1999 and 2008.

RESULTS:

The mean age of patients was 72 years. The mean area of the lesions excised was 17.5 cm(2) with a mean diameter of 4.5 cm at a mean distance of 7.4 cm from the dentate line. There were 201 full thickness excisions, 51 partial thickness excisions and nine were mixed or unclassified. Thirty-three (13%) patients developed 41 complications. There were two (0.8%) deaths within 30 days. Pelvic sepsis occurred in seven (3%) patients and was significantly more common after excision of low lesions within 2 cm of the dentate line. Postoperative haemorrhage occurred in seven (3%) patients and was significantly less common when dissection was performed with ultrasonic dissection than with diathermy. Fourteen (5%) patients developed acute urinary retention. Four (1.5%) patients developed rectal stenosis and four (1.5%) suffered uncomplicated surgical emphysema that required no treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Transanal endoscopic microsurgery is a safe operation with a low mortality and morbidity. Pelvic sepsis is more common after excision of lesions within 2 cm of the dentate line. Ultrasonic dissection is associated with less postoperative haemorrhage than diathermy.

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