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07.07.2016 | Ausgabe 3/2017

Surgical Endoscopy 3/2017

The surgical defect after transanal endoscopic microsurgery: open versus closed management

Surgical Endoscopy > Ausgabe 3/2017
Carl Brown, Manoj J. Raval, P. Terry Phang, Ahmer A. Karimuddin



To determine whether closure of the defect created during full thickness excision of a rectal lesion with transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) leads to fewer complications when compared to leaving the defect unsutured.


This is a single-center cohort study using a prospectively maintained database. All patients ≥18 years old treated with full thickness TEM with no compromise of the peritoneal cavity were included. Two cohorts were established: patients with the defect sutured and patients with the defect left open. Demographic, operative, and pathologic data were compared. The main outcome analyzed was early (<30 day postoperative) complications, including bleeding that required investigation and readmission, infection, and reoperation.


Between 2007 and 2014, data for all patients treated with TEM have been maintained in the St. Paul’s Hospital TEM database. Overall, 236 patients had the TEM defect sutured (TEM-S) and 105 patients had the defect left open (TEM-O). There were no differences between the groups in patient age, gender, tumor size or underlying tumor histology. There was no difference in OR time between the groups, but the most experienced TEM surgeon performed significantly more of the TEM-S procedures (61 vs. 39 %, p < 0.01). There were 40 postoperative complications, affecting 11.7 % of the cohort. The complication rate was higher in the TEM-O group (8.4 vs. 19.0 %, p = 0.03). There was no statistically significant difference in bleeding complications (4.7 vs. 7.6 %, p = 0.27) or infections (2.1 vs. 6.7 %, p = 0.05). Readmissions were less common in the TEM-S group (4.7 vs 12.4 %, p = 0.01).


The St. Paul’s Hospital TEM experience suggests that while it is safe to leave rectal defects open when a robust mesorectal fat layer is present, there appears to be fewer postoperative complications when the defect is sutured closed.

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