Transanal endoscopic microsurgery: a new technique for completion proctectomy

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Abstract

Aim

Following subtotal colectomy, the retained rectal stump is a potential source of morbidity. Although restorative ileal pouch-anal anastomosis is the gold standard for ulcerative colitis, up to 14% of patients will opt for a permanent ileostomy and undergo completion proctectomy, traditionally by an abdomino-perineal approach, which itself carries significant morbidity. We describe a new technique of perineal proctectomy using transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS) equipment. To our knowledge, this technique has not previously been described in the literature.

Method

Twelve patients, mean (SD) age 66 (±13) years, underwent TEMS proctectomy, performed by a single surgeon between January 2007 and October 2011. Excision began with an intersphincteric dissection following which the TEMS (WOLF) proctoscope was inserted and close rectal dissection was performed, entering the peritoneal cavity (if the top of the stump was intraperitoneal). Following perineal extraction of the specimen, the external sphincter and skin were closed with an absorbable suture.

Results

Nine patients had inflammatory bowel disease, two had neoplasia and one had intractable radiation proctitis. The mean (SD) rectal stump length was 17.8 (±6.1) cm and the peritoneal cavity was entered in nine patients, with no small-bowel injury. The median postoperative hospital stay was 5.5 days. In four patients there was delayed healing of the perineal wound. There was no perioperative mortality.

Conclusion

TEMS perineal proctectomy is a novel, but safe, technique that may avoid the need for a traditional abdominoperineal approach in selected patients.

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