The transanal eversion and prolapsing technique is a well-established procedure, and can ensure an adequate distal margin for patients with low rectal neoplasms. Potential leakage risks, however, are associated with bilateral dog ear formation, which results from traditional double-stapling anastomosis. The authors determined the feasibility of combining these techniques with a commercial stapling set to achieve a nondog ear (end-to-end) anastomosis for patients with mid- and distal rectal neoplasms.
Patients with early-stage (c/ycT1–2N0), mid- to distal rectal neoplasms and good anal sphincter function were included in this study. Laparoscopic low anterior resection was performed with a standard total mesorectal excision technique downward to the pelvic floor as low as possible. The bowel was resected proximal to the lesion with an endoscopic linear stapler. An anvil was inserted extracorporeally into the proximal colon via an extended working pore. The distal rectum coupled with the lesion was prolapsed and everted out of the anus. The neoplasm was resected with a sufficient margin above the dentate line under direct sight. A transrectal anastomosis without dog ears was performed intracorporeally to reconstitute the continuity of the bowel.
Eleven cases, 6 male and 5 female patients, were included in this study. The mean operative time was 191 (129–292) minutes. The mean blood loss was 110 (30–300) mL. The median distal margin distance from the lower edge of the lesion to the dentate line was 1.5 (0.5–2.5) cm. All the resection margins were negative. Most patients experienced uneventful postoperative recoveries. No patient had anastomotic leak. Most patients had an acceptable stool frequency after loop ileostomy closure.
Our preliminary data demonstrated the safety and feasibility of achieving a sound anastomosis without risking potential anastomotic leakage because of dog ear formation.