Pelvic floor reconstruction with a biological mesh after extralevator abdominoperineal excision leads to few perineal hernias and acceptable wound complication rates with minor movement limitations: single-centre experience including clinical examination and interview

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AimThe aim of the study was to describe long-term subjective and objective results of pelvic floor reconstruction using an absorbable biological mesh after extralevator abdominoperineal excision (ELAPE) for low rectal cancer.MethodRecords of 53 patients who had an ELAPE with reconstruction of the pelvic floor with a Permacol® mesh between August 2007 and August 2011 were reviewed. Thirty-one of the patients were called for interview and clinical examination.ResultsThree (6%) patients developed perineal hernia, 11 had fistulae (nine of which were treated successfully), four patients had a perineal abscess and four patients had superficial wound infections. Removal of the mesh was necessary in one case, while another patient needed implantation of a new mesh. In 13 of the 31 interviewed patients, long-term pain was present, but resolved after a median of 8 months (3–56). No major sitting or movement disabilities were encountered. Three-year survival was 82%, and no local recurrences were found.ConclusionPelvic floor reconstruction with a biological mesh is a feasible solution when performing ELAPE for low rectal cancer, although long-term pain is a frequent complication.

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