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Colorectal Dis. 2019 Sep;21(9):1025-1031. doi: 10.1111/codi.14689. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

A multi-centre randomized controlled trial of open vs closed management of the rectal defect after transanal endoscopic microsurgery.

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Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia and St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Department of Surgery, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Department of Surgery, University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Surgery, CHU de Québec - Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.



Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) is a technically challenging strategy that allows expanded indications for local excision of rectal lesions. Transluminal suturing is difficult, so open management of the resultant defect is appealing. Expert opinion suggests there is more pain when the defect is left open. The aim of this study was to determine if closure of the defect created during full thickness excision of rectal lesions with TEM leads to less postoperative pain compared to leaving the defect open.


At the time of surgery, patients undergoing a full thickness TEM were randomized to sutured (TEM-S) or open (TEM-O) management of the rectal defect. At five Canadian academic colorectal surgery centres, experienced TEM surgeons enrolled patients ≥ 18 years treated by full thickness TEM. The primary outcome was postoperative pain measured by the visual analogue scale. Secondary outcomes included postoperative pain medication use and 30-day postoperative complications, including bleeding, infection and hospital readmission.


Between March 2012 and October 2013, 50 patients were enrolled and randomized to sutured (TEM-S, n = 28) or open (TEM-O, n = 22) management of the rectal defect. There was no difference between the two study groups in postoperative pain on postoperative day 1 (2.8 vs 2.6, P = 0.76), day 3 (2.8 vs 2.1, P = 0.23) and day 7 (2.8 vs 1.7, P = 0.10).


In this multicentre randomized controlled trial, there was no difference in postoperative pain between sutured or open defect management in patients having a full thickness excision with TEM.


TAMIS; TEMs; Transanal endoscopic microsurgery; rectal adenoma; rectal cancer; surgical technique; transanal minimally invasive surgery


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