Advances in rectal cancer surgery

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We discuss our experience in radical rectal cancer surgery and critically review the results of the current literature. In particular, the importance of distal clearance, total excision of the mesorectum, and pelvic lymphadenectomy is stressed.


The rationale for determining a pelvic lymphadenectomy is identified in the high percentage (20 percent) of lateral endopelvic metastatic nodes demonstrated in cases of extraperitoneal rectal cancers. The results after pelvic lymphadenectomy and the eventual complications are observed. The autonomic nerve-sparing procedure is described and the preliminary results, with a decreased rate of urinary and sexual sequelae, are discussed.


It was concluded that, in cases of an advanced rectal cancer, radical surgery, if associated with the nervesparing technique, can improve survival without affecting the incidence of major complications.

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