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Is trans-anal total mesorectal excision really safe and better than laparoscopic total mesorectal excision with a perineal approach first in patients with low rectal cancer? A learning curve with case-matched study in 68 patients



Is trans-anal total mesorectal excision really safe and better than laparoscopic total mesorectal excision with a perineal approach first in patients with low rectal cancer? A learning curve with case-matched study in 68 patients



Colorectal Disease 20(6): O143



To compare the learning curve for trans-anal total mesorectal excision (TATME) with laparoscopic TME started by a perineal approach (LTME). The first 34 consecutive patients who underwent TATME for low rectal cancer were matched with LTME (performed by the same surgeon) for gender, body mass index and chemoradiation. Thirty-four patients undergoing TATME (23 men; 58 ± 14 years) were matched with 34 undergoing LTME (23 men; 59 ± 13 years). Intra-operative complications occurred more frequently during TATME (21%) than LTME (6%), but this difference was not significant (P = 0.07). The complications of TATME included rectal (n = 4), bladder (n = 1) and vaginal (n = 1) injury and bleeding (n = 1). Length of stay and postoperative overall and major morbidities were similar between groups. Early symptomatic anastomotic leakage (AL) occurred in 1/34 TATME and 5/34 LTME (15%; P = 0.02) procedures. Asymptomatic AL occurred in four TATME (12%) and four LTME (12%, P = 1). Thus, the overall rate of AL was 5/34 (15%) for TATME vs 9/34 (26%) for LTME (P = 0.4). No significant difference between the two groups was noted with regard to tumour, number of harvested and positive lymph nodes, R1 resection rate or completeness of the mesorectum. Metastatic recurrence was similar between groups (15% vs 18%, P = 0.7), but follow-up was shorter after TATME (13 ± 6 months) than after LTME (25 ± 14 months; P < 0.0001). The TATME learning curve seems to be associated with a significant rate of intra-operative complications. Because no significant benefit has been reported to date, more evidence is needed before TATME can be considered as a better approach than laparoscopic TME with a perineal approach first in patients with low rectal cancer.

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Accession: 065632774

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 29693307

DOI: 10.1111/codi.14238


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