Transanal total mesorectal excision in rectal cancer: short-term outcomes in comparison with laparoscopic surgery

María Fernández-Hevia, Salvadora Delgado, Antoni Castells, Marta Tasende, Dulce Momblan, Gabriel Díaz del Gobbo, Borja DeLacy, Jaume Balust, Antonio M Lacy
Annals of Surgery 2015, 261 (2): 221-7

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare short-term results obtained with transanal total mesorectal excision (TME) and laparoscopic surgery.

BACKGROUND: Transanal TME appears as an alternative in the treatment of rectal cancer and other rectal disease. Natural orifices transluminal endoscopic surgery using the rectum as access in colorectal surgery is intuitively better suited than other access routes.

METHODS: All consecutive patients with middle or low rectal cancer submitted to surgery were included into a prospective cohort and treated by transanal TME assisted by laparoscopy. They were compared with a retrospective cohort of consecutive patients of identical characteristics treated by laparoscopic TME in the immediate chronological period.

RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients were included in both study groups. No differences were observed between them with respect to baseline characteristics, thus emphasizing the comparability of both cohorts. Surgical time was higher in the laparoscopy group (252 ± 50 minutes) than in the transanal group (215 ± 60 minutes) (P < 0.01). Moreover, coloanal anastomosis was performed less frequently (16% vs 43%, respectively; P = 0.01) and distal margin was lower (1.8 ± 1.2 mm vs 2.7 ± 1.7 mm, respectively; P = 0.05) in the laparoscopy group than in the transanal one. Although there was no significant difference in 30-day postoperative complication rate (laparoscopy, 51% vs transanal, 32%; P = 0.16), early readmissions were more frequent in the laparoscopy group than in the transanal one (22% vs 6%, respectively; P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of short-term outcomes demonstrated that transanal TME is a feasible and safe technique associated with a shorter surgical time and a lower early readmission rate.

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