A technique that helps to surgically remove rectal tumour without leaving any scar has been developed by scientists from Hospital Clinic Barcelona and Massachusetts General Hospital.
With the help of NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopy Surgery) and TEM (Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery), surgeons could successfully remove rectal mass through anus.
The TEM technique uses rectal endoscopy to introduce a specially-designed proctoscope connected to a CO2 insufflation system that dilates the rectum.
This creates a working space that allows the instruments required to section and dissect the mass to be introduced. This route allows the dissection of the rectum and surrounding tissue until the abdominal cavity is reached, a wholly innovative technique.
The new minimally-invasive surgery left no scars, led to shorter hospital stay and faster recovery.
Currently, this type of surgery is still in the research and development stage. Surgery through the mouth and vagina has been successfully used, but the transanal route (through the anus) is less utilized.
In the operation conducted over a 76-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with a malignant rectal tumour, nearly all surgical instruments were introduced through the anus to avoid painful abdominal incisions.
She was discharged home with no complications and excellent postoperative recovery.
This new technique has been developed to achieve better results than laparoscopic surgery.
In future, researchers believe that transanal approach is will help treat other diseases of the colon and rectum.
"We are convinced that this type of surgery will bring additional advantages to those already shown by laparoscopic surgery, reducing surgical invasiveness by eliminating abdominal incisions, and resulting in fewer postoperative complications and a speedier recovery," said Dr. Antonio Mª de Lacy, from Hospital Clinic Barcelona.
"Based on this first case, I am encouraged that in the near future we will be able to offer this type of procedure to more patients. This approach could have wide use for patients with colorectal cancer, diverticulitis, and other diseases of the colon and rectum," adds Dr. Patricia Sylla, Instructor of Surgery at the Harvard Medical School.