Transabdominal anastomosis after low anterior resection: A prospective, randomized, controlled trial comparing long-term results between side-to-end anastomosis and colonic J-pouch

Jeng-Kai Jiang, Shung-Haur Yang, Jen-Kou Lin
Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 2005, 48 (11): 2100-8; discussion 2108-10

PURPOSE: Colonic J-pouch has been constructed to overcome reservoir dysfunction after restorative rectal surgery, whereas no effort has been made for sphincter dysfunction. We conducted a prospective, randomized study comparing surgical and functional outcomes between side-to-end anastomosis and colonic J-pouch after low anterior resection in which the anastomosis was constructed from the abdomen.

METHODS: Fifty-six consecutive patients with middle-to-low rectal cancer undergoing low anterior resection were randomly assigned to side-to-end or colonic J-pouch group preoperatively. Surgical outcomes of all the patients were recorded. Patients underwent functional evaluation, including anorectal manometry and functional assessment, preoperatively and then 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years postoperatively.

RESULTS: Twenty-four patients in each group completed the study. The demographic data and preoperative functional assessment did not differ between the two groups. There was no significant difference in surgical outcomes with regard to anastomotic height (5 cm), blood loss, protective colostomy, operative time, complications, and adjuvant therapy. Anal pressures showed no significant change postoperatively and during the follow-up period; there were no differences between the two groups. Temporal minor fecal incontinence was noted in the early postoperative period in both groups. With regard to bowel function, a significant reduction of volume of urgency and maximal tolerable volume was found postoperatively in both groups; however, a faster recovery was noted in the colonic J-pouch group. Stool frequency increased significantly after surgery in both groups; however, in contrast to rectal volume, a faster recovery was noted in the side-to-end group.

CONCLUSIONS: Anastomosis after low anterior resection for middle to low rectal cancer could be performed safely from the abdomen. It minimized sphincter injury and showed good continence preservation. On the other hand, the surgical outcomes and long-term functional results of side-to-end anastomosis were comparable with colonic J-pouch. Side-to-end anastomosis provides an easier, alternative way for reconstruction after restorative rectal surgery.

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