Intersphincteric Resection for Low Rectal Cancer: Parameters Affecting Functional Outcomes and Survival Rates
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INTRODUCTION: The development of new surgical techniques and devices, as well as the improvements in neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy enabled intersphincteric resection (ISR), has reduced permanent colostomy usage. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term oncological and functional outcomes of patients who underwent partial ISR for rectal cancer located less than 5cm from the anal verge. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A series of 106 consecutive patients with very low rectal cancer underwent curative partial ISR from January 2006 to September 2019 were retrospectively evaluated. One-hundred-three (97%) of 106 patients received neoadjuvant chemo-radiotherapy. Overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and local recurrence (LR) rates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier methods. The Wexner incontinence score and Kirwan classification were used to evaluate patients' functional results. RESULTS: The median follow up was 60 months (range, 18-174). The estimated five-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 89% and 81.6%, respectively. Five-year local recurrence and distant metastasis rates were 6.6% and 10.4%, respectively. There was no in-hospital and 30-day mortality. The median Wexner score was 9 (range, 0-20) for 72 patients. Age (<65 years, p=0.027) and gender (male, p=0.019) had a positive effect on functional outcomes after surgery. One and five years colostomy-free survival rates were 96% and 89%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Intersphincteric resection techniques are feasible for patients with very low rectal cancer, providing good oncological and functional outcomes.