ABDOMINOPERINEAL RESECTION OR LOW HARTMANN'S PROCEDURE

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Abstract

Aim

To compare patients having low Hartmann's resection (LHP) with abdominoperineal resection (APR) by investigating postoperative complications.

Methods

Retrospective comparative analysis of preoperative state and postoperative course for patients having surgery from 1 January 1997 to 1 July 2001, by the surgeons of the Colorectal Unit, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Results

Over a 54-month period 65 patients underwent either LHP or APR (29 LHP, 36 APR). The median age/sex (male:female) of patients for LHP was 76 years (51–90 years) (14:15), for APR 72 years (31–93 years) (19:17). The indication for surgery was predominantly cancer (LHP 89.6%, APR 94.4%). There was a high rate of preoperative comorbidities: LHP 75.9% (cardiac 62.1%, pulmonary 17.2%), APR 75% (cardiac 50%, pulmonary 15.9%). Preoperative chemoradiation was used in 10.3% of patients having LHP and 30.6% with APR. There was no difference in postoperative non-septic complications. There was a significant difference in the types of septic complications (P = 0.018), with a higher rate of pelvic abscesses after LHP (5). Perineal wound infection occurred in five patients having APR (14.3%). The median time to heal a perineal wound was 1 month (0.5–7 months). The median length of stay was 13 days for LHP (5–33 days) and 11 days for APR (6–19 days)(P = 0.0266).

Conclusion

This non-randomized, retrospective, cohort study shows a surprisingly high rate of pelvic abscesses after LHP compared with APR. Perineal wound healing was a problem after APR, but less of a management problem than the septic complications after LHP. Both LHP and APR might be associated with significant morbidity. A high pelvic abscess rate following LHP is associated with a high likelihood of further surgical intervention and a prolonged length of stay.

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