Laparoscopic total mesorectal excision with natural orifice specimen extraction

Quan Wang, Chao Wang, Dong-Hui Sun, Punyaram Kharbuja, Xue-Yuan Cao
World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 2013 February 7, 19 (5): 750-4

AIM: To introduce transvaginal or transanal specimen extraction in laparoscopic total mesorectal excision surgery to avoid an abdominal incision.

METHODS: Between January 2009 and December 2011, 21 patients with rectal cancer underwent laparoscopic radical resection and the specimen was retrieved by two different ways: transvaginal or transanal rectal removal. Transvaginal specimen extraction approach was strictly limited to elderly post-menopausal women who need hysterectomy. Patients aged between 30 and 80 years, with a body mass index of less than 30 kg/m², underwent elective surgery. The surgical technique and the outcomes related to the specimen extraction, such as duration of surgery, length of hospital stay, and the complications were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS: Laparoscopic resection using a natural orifice removal approach was successful in all of the 21 patients. Median operating time was 185 min (range, 122-260 min) and the estimated blood loss was 48 mL. The mean length of hospital stay was 7.5 d (range, 2-11 d). One patient developed postoperative ileus and had an extended hospital stay. The patient complained of minimal pain. There were no postoperative complications or surgery-associated death. The mean size of the lesion was 2.8 cm (range, 1.8-6.0 cm), and the mean number of lymph nodes harvested was 18.7 (range, 8-27). At a mean follow-up of 20.6 mo (range, 10-37 mo), there were no functional disorders associated with the transvaginal and transanal specimen extraction.

CONCLUSION: Transvaginal or transanal extraction in L-TME is a safe and effective procedure. Natural orifice specimen extraction can avoid the abdominal wall incision and its potential complications.

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