Compared with traditional operations, superior results after transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) for rectal tumors have been demonstrated in terms of morbidity and mortality. However, no data were available on functional outcome after TEM. We, therefore, studied 42 patients who were undergoing TEM.METHODS:
Patients were examined by anorectal manometry and participated in a standardized interview preoperatively and three months and one year after surgery.RESULTS:
Anorectal function as assessed by manometry was impaired three months after surgery but improved again during the first postoperative year. In parallel, some patients complained of impaired continence or defecation disorders in the interview three months postoperatively. These functions improved during the first year after surgery, too.CONCLUSIONS:
Correct comparison of our results with functional outcome after anterior rectal resection is impossible. We feel, however, that functional results after TEM are likely to be superior to those after anterior resection for rectal tumors.