International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 903–910 | Cite as

Functional results after radiochemotherapy and total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer

  • C. Coco
  • V. Valentini
  • A. Manno
  • G. Rizzo
  • M. A. Gambacorta
  • C. Mattana
  • A. Verbo
  • A. Picciocchi
Original Article


Background and purpose

The aim of this study was to prospectively define and measure evacuation and continence disorders after preoperative radiochemotherapy and total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer 1 year after surgery.

Materials and methods

We submitted 100 patients, who underwent neoadjuvant treatment and anterior resection with TME from 1996 to 2003, to a questionnaire on postoperative continence and evacuation. Anal sphincter function was further assessed by the Memorial Sloan–Kettering score. Factors influencing anorectal function were examined in univariate and multivariate analysis.


Median evacuation score was 16.12 ± 5.12 (range 0–28). Sensation of incomplete evacuation was reported in 58% of cases, necessity to return to the bathroom <15 min in 37% and inability to evacuate completely <15 min in 35%. Median continence score was 13.7 ± 4.79 (range 0–20). Incontinence to flatus was reported in 46% of cases. Colonic J-pouch allows better evacuation and continence. Continence was also better in absence of postoperative complications. Sphincter function resulted excellent or good in 75% of patients according to the Memorial Sloan–Kettering score.


The most frequent symptoms in our series are the sensation of incomplete evacuation, the incontinence to flatus, and the necessity to return to the bathroom <15 min. Colonic J-pouch warrants a better function. Postoperative complications compromise good functional results.


Anorectal function TME Radiochemotherapy Rectal cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Coco
    • 1
  • V. Valentini
    • 2
  • A. Manno
    • 1
    • 3
  • G. Rizzo
    • 1
  • M. A. Gambacorta
    • 2
  • C. Mattana
    • 1
  • A. Verbo
    • 1
  • A. Picciocchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Radiation TherapyUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly
  3. 3.Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly

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