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Transanal Hartmann reversal: a new technique.

BACKGROUND: Hartmann procedure consists in a sigmoidectomy followed by a terminal colostomy. However, the stoma is associated with complications and suboptimal quality of life, so the restoration of colonic continuity should be, at least, considered in any case. Open restoration has been associated with significant morbidity and mortality; therefore, many authors have described the advantages of laparoscopic Hartmann reversal. We want to go a step further showing our experience using a combined laparoscopic and transanal approach in an attempt to improve the surgical technique.

METHODS: Patients with an end colostomy due to an emergency Hartmann procedure are selected for this intervention. This approach is performed simultaneously laparoscopically and transanally, with single-port devices, through the colostomy wound in the first case and trough anal canal in the second one. The previous stapler line is resected transanally and the proximal rectum and mesorectum are dissected until the peritoneal reflexion, where both teams work together to complete the adhesiolysis. Finally an end-to-end anastomosis is performed under laparoscopic control.

RESULTS: As in patients with rectal cancer, dissection of the stump in Hartmann reversal procedure may be better and associated with shorter operative time.

CONCLUSIONS: As with any new surgical procedure, it is probably too early to draw conclusions, but nowadays transanal combined with laparoscopic approach seems to be a safe and feasible technique to perform a Hartmann reversal.

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