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Dis Colon Rectum. 1996 Sep;39(9):969-76.

Surgical cure for early rectal carcinomas (T1). Transanal endoscopic microsurgery vs. anterior resection.

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Department of General Surgery, Westfälische Wilhelms-University of Münster, Germany.



This study was undertaken for the comparison of local resection for early rectal carcinomas using transanal endoscopic microsurgery or anterior resection.


Data from 50 of 52 patients with proven adenocarcinoma (GI/II) and intraluminal ultrasound with Stage uT1 N negative (uTNM) were evaluated in a prospective randomized study with two therapeutic arms: transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM; n = 24) or anterior resection (AR; n = 26), performed under general anesthesia.


Patients' ages and rectal tumor locations showed insignificant differences of distribution in comparison of TEM with AR (Welsh's alternate t-test; t-test). Local recurrence (4.2 percent) and five-year survival rates (96 percent) differed insignificantly (log-rank test). Early postoperative mortality was zero. Significant differences were found comparing time of hospitalization, loss of blood, operation time, and opiate analgesia (Welsh's alternate t-test; Wilcoxon's test; each P < 0.05). Early and late morbidity differed considerably.


Lower morbidity, similar local recurrence, and survival rates favor the TEM technique. Comparable results in survival rate to the gold standard (AR) are objective arguments for choosing the adequate surgical procedure. For early rectal cancer, the minimum invasive TEM technique should be preferred because of superior overview during operation with safer suturing after meticulous full wall thickness excision.

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