Transanal endoscopic microsurgery with entrance into the peritoneal cavity: Is it safe?

John H. Marks, Joseph L. Frenkel, Christopher E. Greenleaf, Anthony P. D'Andrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Relative contraindications for transanal endoscopic microsurgery include high, anterior-based lesions for full-thickness excisions because of worries about entering the peritoneal cavity. Concerns exist regarding safety and oncological outcome. OBJECTIVE: We examined the outcomes of transanal endoscopic microsurgery excisions with entry into the peritoneal cavity and compared them with those that did not to address our hypothesis that entry is safe with no ill infectious or oncological consequences. DESIGN: This single-institution retrospective review uses a prospectively maintained database. SETTINGS: This study was conducted at a tertiary colorectal surgery referral center. PATIENTS: From 1997 to 2012, we identified 303 patients who underwent transanal endoscopic microsurgery resections, with 26 patients having entrance into the peritoneal cavity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Perioperative data, postoperative morbidities, delayed morbidities, and oncological outcomes were the primary outcomes measured. RESULTS: Of 26 patients, there were 8 women with a mean age of 67.5 years. Mean BMI was 31 kg/m2, and ASA class was II or IV in 69%. Mean superior border of the lesion was 10.4 cm (4.5-16). Forty-eight percent had anterior-based lesions. Anterior location, level from anorectal ring, and diagnosis of cancer were significantly higher in the peritoneal entry group (p = 0.003, p = 0.007, and p = 0.007). Preoperative diagnoses included 16 adenocarcinomas, 8 polyps, and 2 carcinoid tumors. Thirteen patients had preoperative chemoradiation. Median estimated blood loss was 15 mL (5-400), and 3 patients underwent diversions. Median time to discharge was 3 days (2-10). There were no perioperative mortalities. Median follow-up time was 21.0 months. There was 1 local recurrence (3.8%), and there was no development of carcinomatosis. LIMITATIONS: This review was limited by its retrospective nature. CONCLUSIONS: High anterior location rectal lesions should be considered candidates for transanal endoscopic microsurgery excision in experienced hands. After obtaining considerable transanal endoscopic microsurgery experience, our use of transanal endoscopic microsurgery in a high-risk patient population allowed us to definitively treat 88% of patients without an abdominal operation and the need for a temporary or permanent colostomy. Theoretic concerns of abscess or carcinomatosis were not experienced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1176-1182
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Natural orifice surgery
  • Rectal cancer
  • Rectal polyp
  • Transanal endoscopic microsurgery
  • Transanal excision
  • Transanal minimally invasive surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Transanal endoscopic microsurgery with entrance into the peritoneal cavity: Is it safe?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this