Transanal endoscopic microsurgery: experience with 75 rectal neoplasms

D Lev-Chelouche, D Margel, G Goldman, M J Rabau
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2000, 43 (5): 662-7; discussion 667-8

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to describe a single institution's experience with transanal endoscopic microsurgery in patients with benign and malignant rectal tumors.

PATIENTS: Between January 1992 and April 1998, 75 patients with a mean follow up of 38 months, underwent transanal endoscopic microsurgery excision of benign (46) or malignant (29) rectal tumors, located 3 to 18 cm from the dentate line.

RESULTS: A total of 3 of 46 (6.5 percent) patients with benign tumors underwent conversion to radical surgery owing to tumor size. During the follow-up period, benign tumor recurrence was observed in four (9 percent) patients, three of whom were managed by repeat transanal endoscopic microsurgery, whereas one required radical surgery. Histologic staging of malignant tumors was T1 (10), T2 (10), and T3 (9). Seven patients with either inadequate resection margins or T3 tumors were complimented with radical surgery. Of the remaining 22 patients, 11 received adjuvant radiation therapy whereas 11 had no further treatment. Four (18 percent) had recurrent disease, which was managed by repeat transanal endoscopic microsurgery in two, radical surgery in one, and laser ablation in one. No cancer-related deaths were observed during the follow-up period. There was one operative mortality in a cardiac-crippled patient. Postoperative complications were mainly of a minor character and included fever, urinary retention, and bleeding; none of which required reintervention. Rectourethral fistula developed in one patient who underwent repeat transanal endoscopic microsurgery excision for a T3 malignancy. Fecal soiling was transient in three patients and persisted in two.

CONCLUSION: Transanal endoscopic microsurgery excision is a safe and precise technique that is well tolerated even in high operative risk patients. Transanal endoscopic microsurgery may become a procedure of choice for benign rectal tumors and selected early malignant neoplasms.

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