European Surgery

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 13–18 | Cite as

Transanal total mesorectal excision in selected patients with “difficult pelvis”: a case–control study of “difficult” rectal cancer patients

  • S. S. GordeyevEmail author
  • K. E. Dzhumabaev
  • Z. Z. Mamedli
  • N. A. Kozlov
  • Y. E. Surayeva
  • M. Y. Fedyanin
  • A. O. Rasulov
original article



Transanal total mesorectal excision (taTME) yields potential benefits for patients with a narrow pelvis and previous chemoradiotherapy by facilitating mobilization of the lower part of the mesorectum. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of taTME in patients with “difficult pelvis.”


This single-institution retrospective nonrandomized cohort study included patients with difficult pelvis who underwent either laparoscopic total mesorectal excision (lapTME) or taTME during 2013–2016. “Difficult pelvis” was defined as a combination of male gender, high body mass index (BMI; ≥25 mg/m2), and previous chemoradiotherapy. Main outcome measures included TME quality, rate of stapling anastomoses, operative time, and postoperative complications.


In total, 26 patients underwent lapTME and 26 underwent taTME. The median BMI was 29.2 kg/m2 and 28.3 kg/m2 in the laparoscopic and transanal groups, respectively (p = 0.8). The median operative time was 270 and 295 min, respectively (p = 0.2). One (3.8%) patient died in the laparoscopic group, whereas no deaths occurred in the taTME group. The rate of grade III–IV complications was three (11.5%) vs. three (11.5%), respectively (p = 1.0). Grade 1 TME was observed in four (17.4%) vs. four (16%) patients, respectively (p = 1.0; per protocol). Stapling anastomosis was performed on 17 (68%) vs. 21(84%) patients, respectively (p = 0.2). The median follow-up was 28.2 months. There was one case (3.8%) of distant failure in each group and one (3.8%) patient in the laparoscopic group developed a local recurrence.


In rectal cancer patients with difficult pelvis, taTME may lead to higher rates of stapling anastomoses without compromising other surgical outcomes. We did not find any differences in specimen quality or other surgical outcomes between the two groups.


Rectal cancer Transanal TME Laparoscopic TME Stapling anastomosis TME quality 


Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

S.S. Gordeyev, K.E. Dzhumabaev, Z.Z. Mamedli, N.A. Kozlov, Y.E. Surayeva, M.Y. Fedyanin, and A.O. Rasulov declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1975 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.N. N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research CenterMoscowRussian Federation
  2. 2.Podolsk radiology centerPodolskRussian Federation
  3. 3.Russian Centrosoyuz hospitalMoscowRussian Federation

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