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The new approach to the rectal cancer: ‘down-to-up’ double endolaparoscopic pelvic access. Preliminary evaluation of outcomes

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Laparoscopic access in low anterior rectal resection is widely adopted, performing an ‘up-to-down’ dissection. The aim of this study is to present and analyze the outcomes of a novel surgical ‘down-to-up’ total mesorectal excision technique that could obviate to the well-known issues of the standard treatment. 18 suitable patients underwent double endolaparoscopic pelvic access (DEPA) ‘down-to-up’ technique. DEPA TME was completed in all patients, with intact mesorectum. Mean operative time was 365 min (range 280–510 min). The morbidity rate was 22 %, including three radiologically detected leakage (grade A) and one pelvic abscess, requiring only a conservative management. Mortality rate at 30 and 90 days was 0 %. Resection margins were negative in all patients. A median of 11 nodes (range 5–19) was retrieved per specimen. Mean length of hospital stay was 9 days (range 7–19 days). Patients were followed for an average of 14 months (range 0–42 months), with no recurrence. Despite exiguous patient’s sample in this pilot study, transanal endoscopic TME with laparoscopic assistance seems to be feasible and safe, and is a promising alternative to open and laparoscopic TME. However, a conspicuous functional and oncologic long-term evaluation is required, before the widespread adoption could be recommended.

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Conflict of interest

Drs. Paolo De Paolis, Alberto Bona, Maria Paola Bellomo, Andrea Borasi, and Dario Borreca have no conflicts of interests or financial ties to disclose.

Ethical standard

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Correspondence to Dario Borreca.

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Borreca, D., Bona, A., Bellomo, M.P. et al. The new approach to the rectal cancer: ‘down-to-up’ double endolaparoscopic pelvic access. Preliminary evaluation of outcomes. Updates Surg 67, 293–299 (2015).

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