Prognosis and postoperative genital function of function-preservative surgery of pelvic autonomic nerve preservation for male rectal cancer patients

Zhihua Liu, Meijin Huang, Liang Kang, Lei Wang, Ping Lan, Ji Cui, Jianping Wang
BMC Surgery 2016 March 13, 16: 12

BACKGROUND: To retrospectively evaluate postoperative genital function, local recurrence rate and survival rate after total mesorectal excision (TME) combined with or without pelvic autonomic nerve preservation (PANP) in male patients with rectal cancer.

METHODS: A total of 953 male patients with rectal cancer after TME (518 patients received TME combined with PANP [PANP group] and 434patients received TME alone [TME group]) were included. Assessments of postoperative genital function, local recurrence rate, and 5 year survival rate were collected.

RESULTS: Rate of erection dysfunction in PANP group (41.9%) was significantly lower than that in TME group (76.7%, P < 0.05). Rate of ejaculation dysfunction in PANP group (42.5%) was also significantly lower than that in TME group (67.3%, P < 0.05). Local recurrence rate (P = 0.66) and survival rate (P = 0.26) did not differ between the two groups. For patients with preoperative obstruction, local recurrence rate was significantly higher (P = 0.01) and survival rate significantly lower (P = 0.03) in PANP group.

CONCLUSIONS: PANP surgery has significant advantage with respect to preservation of genital function and should be recommended as surgical treatment for rectal cancer patients. However, PANP surgery should be considered with caution in patients with preoperative obstruction in view of the poorer long-term outcomes in these patients.

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