Transanal minimally invasive surgery for benign large rectal polyps and early malignant rectal cancers: experience and outcomes from the first Canadian centre to adopt the technique

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BackgroundTransanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) has emerged as a relatively new technique in treating early cancer and benign lesion of the rectum. The technique is likely to be widely adopted, surpassing other comparable techniques owing to its simple setup and cost-effectiveness. We assessed the outcomes of TAMIS at our centre.MethodsWe retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected data on 50 patients who underwent TAMIS for benign, malignant T1 or T2 cancers that were unfit for radical surgery over a 4-year period. Outcomes, including 30-day complications and recurrence, as well as our ability to implement and integrate this technique at our centre were assessed.ResultsAll 50 TAMIS procedures were successful. The average lesion was 7 cm from the anal verge, the average tumour size was 2.5 cm, the average duration of surgery was 73 minutes, the average length of stay was 1.1 days, and the margin negativity was 84%. Major indications in our series included 25 lesions that were too large for endoscopic resection, 14 early cancers or high-grade dysplasia, 10 margin checks postpolypectomy, 6 cases of recurrent polyposis, and 4 medically unfit patients. There were no deaths. The rate of short-term complications, including rectal bleeding, reoperation and urinary retention, was 16%. The rate of long-term complications, including anal incontinence and stenosis, was 4%. Benign and malignant recurrence rates were 2% and 6%, respectively. Overall long-term requirement for invasive procedures, low anterior resection or abdominoperineal resection, was 12%.ConclusionTo our knowledge, this is the first Canadian study showing TAMIS to be an efficient and safe procedure for the treatment of well-selected patients with rectal lesions. Outcomes from our centre are comparable with those found in the literature.

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