Abdominosacral Resection for Carcinoma of the Midrectum: Ten Years Experience

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Abdominosacral resection allows curative resection of midrectal cancer with excellent preservation of sphincter function. In the last ten years 427 patients underwent resection for rectal carcinoma at University Hospital by one surgeon. (SAL) The operation, selected by preoperative sigmoidoscopic measurement, was anterior resection (AR) in 239, abdominosaeral resection (ASR) in 100, and abdominoperineal resection (APR) in 88. Operative mortality was 1.7% for AR, 2% for ASR and 2.3% for APR. All patients were completely continent of stool and flatus after AR and ASR. Follow-up is complete in 194 of 195 patients treated five to ten years ago. Five year survival for curative resection (no distant metastases) was 67.3% after AR (66/98), 58.3% after ASR (21/36), and 50% after APR (15/30). For patients without tumor in lymph nodes, survival rates were 78.3% for AR, 64.3% for ASR and 63.2% for APR. With involvement of regional nodes, survival fell to 41.4% for AR, 37.5% for ASR and 27.3% for APR. For lesions at 5–8.5 cm, five year survival was 61.1% for ASR and 58.3% for APR. No statistical difference in survival time was noted when patients were matched for age, sex, level of lesion and extent of spread. Pelvic recurrences were detected in 16.7% after ASR, 15.3% after AR and 33.3% after APR. All of the pelvic recurrences after ASR and the majority of those after AR and APR occurred in patients with tumor invasion of perirectal fat. These data strongly support the applicability of ASR as an important advance in the treatment of midrectal cancer. Although technically demanding, ASR has permitted preservation of anal continence without sacrifice of long-term cure in approximately 50% of patients who would otherwise have required APR

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