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Outcome of abdominosacral resection for locally advanced primary and recurrent rectal cancer. BJS 2012; 99: 1453-1461.

Published: 7th September 2012

Authors: A. Bhangu, G. Brown, M. Akmal, P. Tekkis


The aim was to assess the indications for and outcomes of abdominosacral resection for patients with locally advanced primary and recurrent rectal cancer.


Consecutive patients undergoing abdominosacral resection between January 2006 and December 2011 were identified from a prospectively maintained database. The main endpoints were 3‐year local recurrence‐free (LRFS) and disease‐free (DFS) survival.


Thirty patients underwent abdominosacral resection, 22 for recurrent rectal cancer and eight for locally advanced primary cancer. Sacrectomy was performed at S1/2 in five, S3 in 11 and S4/5 in 14 patients. R0 resection was achieved in 23 patients; all seven positive margins (R1) were in patients with recurrent disease. There were no deaths in hospital or within 30 days. S1/2 sacrectomy was associated with the highest rate of major complications (60 per cent versus 27 and 29 per cent for S3 and S4/5 respectively) and long‐term complications (60, 36 and 14 per cent). Overall 3‐year LRFS was 66 per cent and 3‐year DFS was 55 per cent. Both were significantly better in patients with negative compared with positive margins (LRFS: 87 versus 0 per cent, P < 0·001; DFS: 71 versus 0 per cent, P = 0·033).


Abdominosacral resection was associated with long‐term survival in carefully selected patients with advanced rectal cancer. Postoperative complications were common and often multiple. Sacrectomy for locally advanced primary rectal cancer was associated with a low margin‐positive rate and should be considered as an acceptable treatment. Margin‐positive resection was associated with poor survival outcomes and should be avoided. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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