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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 1999 October;12(5):339-44


language: Italian

Postoperative complications of rectal tumour surgery

De Paolis P., Fusi D., Giustetto A., Longhin R., Farina E. C.


Background. The aim of this study was to analyse the results of four years' experience of rectal neoplasm surgery, focusing in particular on postoperative complications.
Methods. The data from 75 operations for rectal carcinoma were analysed in a retrospective study. The following parameters were considered: sex (64% M-36% F), age (mean 65.3), tumour site (superior rectum in 33.3%, median rectum in 25.3%, inferior rectum in 41.3%), type of surgery, any associated procedures, staging, preoperative radiotherapy (10.6%), intra- and postoperative complications. Two patients did not undergo surgery because of their poor general conditions. Seven types of surgery were performed: anterior resection was used in the majority of cases (57.3%) and abdominoperineal amputation to a lesser extent (33.3%).
Results. Radical surgery was performed in 62 cases (82.6%). Mean hospital stay was 15.6 days. Operating mortality (one patient died following multiorgan failure caused by presacral hemorrhage) was 1.3%. The most frequent intraoperative complication was splenic lesion leading to consequent splenectomy (4 cases, 5.5%). Major postoperative complications requiring redo surgery occurred in 8 cases (11.1%); of these, anastomotic dehiscence was the most frequent (6.8%). Minor complications requiring conservative treatment were reported in 29 cases (38.6%): of these, urinary retention and urinary tract infections were the most frequent.
Conclusions. The authors conclude that, despite the high frequency of minor complications, rectal neoplasm surgery offers a high degree of safety in terms of major morbidity and operating mortality.

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