Surgical outcomes after total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer

Antonio Chiappa, Roberto Biffi, Emilio Bertani, Andrew P. Zbar, Ugo Pace, Cristiano Crotti, Francesca Biella, Giuseppe Viale, Roberto Orecchia, Giancarlo Pruneri, Davide Poldi, Bruno Andreoni

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Background and Objectives: This study reviewed the results of surgery for distal rectal cancer following the introduction of total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer. Methods: Two hundred sixty-four patients who had undergone elective curative surgical resection of rectal cancer within 12 cm of the anal verge were included. Comparisons were made between patients who had different surgical procedures. Results: The overall operative mortality rate was nil, and the morbidity 39.4%. With a mean follow-up of 34 months (range 5-105 months), local recurrence occurred in 21 of the patients. The 3- and 5-year actuarial local recurrence rates were 9% and 12%, respectively for the whole group. Abdominoperineal resection (APR) was necessary in 65 of 264 (24.6%) of the patients, with a very low local recurrence rate in this subgroup (5% at 3 years). On multivariate analysis, only stage was a significant prognosticator of overall survival (P = 0.012). Conclusions: With the practice of TME, APR was still necessary in 25% of patients with rectal cancer within 12 cm of the anal verge. Type of surgery and tumor distance from the anal verge influenced local recurrence rates, but only initial tumor stage was associated with long-term survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-193
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Rectal cancer
  • Recurrence
  • Surgery
  • Survival
  • Total mesorectal excision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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