Transanal minimally invasive surgery for total mesorectal excision (TAMIS-TME): results and experience with the first 20 patients undergoing curative-intent rectal cancer surgery at a single institution

S Atallah, B Martin-Perez, M Albert, T deBeche-Adams, G Nassif, L Hunter, S Larach
Techniques in Coloproctology 2014, 18 (5): 473-80

BACKGROUND: Transanal TME is a new approach to performing minimally invasive rectal resection. It is particularly well suited for patients with locally advanced distal rectal cancer and obesity, where the abdominal approach is challenging. Transanal TME can be performed with either TAMIS or TEM. Here, we report our initial experience with transanal TME using TAMIS (TAMIS-TME).

METHODS: Patients were selected to undergo transanal TME using the TAMIS platform (TAMIS-TME) primarily for malignant disease, but also for select cases of benign disease. Transanal TME defines a "bottom-up" approach to en bloc rectal cancer resection. Transanal TME requires abdominal access for proximal colonic mobilization and is often done in conjunction with a laparoscopic approach.

RESULTS: During a 32-month period, 20 patients underwent TAMIS-TME with curative intent. The primary indication for transanal TME was distal, locally advanced rectal cancer. The median age of rectal cancer patients at the time of surgery was 57 years (range 36-73 years) with 30% (6) female and 70% (14) male. The median body mass index (BMI) measured was 24 kg/m(2) (range 18-41 kg/m(2)); this included six patients (30%) with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m(2)). Mean operating time was 243 min (range 140-495 min) with blood loss averaging 153 ml. Postoperative length of stay averaged 4.5 days (range 3-24 days). There was no 30-day postoperative mortality. Surgical complications included wound infection (n = 2), pelvic abscess (n = 4), and prolonged ileus (n = 4). The anastomotic leak rate was 6.7% (1/15). Of the 20 patients who underwent resection, 90% (18/20) had negative margins. Pathologic grading of the TME specimen revealed that 85% (17/20) of transanal TME specimens were found to have "completely" or "near-completely" intact mesorectal envelopes. Data collected during the 6-month median follow-up period revealed that only one patient had developed distant metastasis. There was no locoregional recurrence in any of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Transanal TME is a feasible method for oncologic resection of locally advanced mid- and distal-rectal cancer with curative intent. It has special application for patients with obesity and anatomic constraints such as a narrow male pelvis.

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