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Tech Coloproctol. 2012 Oct;16(5):355-62. doi: 10.1007/s10151-012-0851-4. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

A prospective case-control study of extralevator abdominoperineal excision (ELAPE) of the rectum versus conventional laparoscopic and open abdominoperineal excision: comparative analysis of short-term outcomes and quality of life.

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Department of Colorectal Surgery, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southampton, UK.



Conventional abdominoperineal excision (APE) of the rectum is associated with higher circumferential resection margin (CRM) involvement, increased local recurrence, and reduced survival compared to anterior resection. A more radical extralevator APE (ELAPE) technique may improve oncological outcome. However, this technique may confer additional morbidity, and little comparative data on short-term outcomes have been reported. This study compares short-term outcomes and quality of life (QOL) after open and laparoscopic ELAPE, laparoscopic APE (LAPE), and open APE (OAPE).


Data on all ELAPE and 10 consecutive LAPE and OAPE were extracted from a prospective database. Perioperative care and follow-up were standardized. QOL was assessed using EORTC questionnaires.


Sixteen ELAPE (14 laparoscopic), 10 LAPE, and 10 OAPE were included. Demographics, tumour stage, and neoadjuvant therapy use were comparable. Operative time was higher with ELAPE than LAPE and OAPE (295, 207.5, and 157.5 min, respectively, p = 0.01). A porcine collagen perineal mesh was used in 9 patients undergoing ELAPE but in no LAPE or OAPE patients. No difference in 30-day complications, re-admission, or length of stay was noted. ELAPE and LAPE were associated with earlier removal of urinary catheter (p = 0.02), yet other enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) parameters were equivalent. All ELAPE resections were R0 with no positive CRM identified. One LAPE and 2 OAPE were R1 resections. Analysis revealed no deterioration in QOL with ELAPE, with equivalent global health status.


The results of this study suggest that ELAPE is not associated with deterioration in short-term outcomes or QOL when compared with LAPE or OAPE.

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