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Rectal Cancer - Types Of Surgeries That Can Help!

Written and reviewed by
Fellowship in Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery, Fellowship in Advanced Laproscopy & Bariatric Surgery, MS- General Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Hyderabad  •  21 years experience
Rectal Cancer - Types Of Surgeries That Can Help!

Rectal cancer is the growth of cancerous cells in the rectum, which is the colon’s lower part of the colon, connecting the large bowel and the anus. The basic function of the rectum is to collect the stool that is formed inside the human body before it is eliminated from the body. The cancer starts as a polyp, which is precancerous, and slowly develops and turns cancerous. This cancer will start spreading and penetrates into the walls of the rectum causing rectal cancer.

Surgery is the most common treatment available for rectal cancer. Depending on the location of the cancer and the type of cancer, there are different types of rectal cancer surgeries available. One of the important things that are considered before deciding which kind of surgery is required is the location of the tumor from the anus.

Types of Surgeries for Rectal Cancer:
Here are different types of surgeries available for different stages of rectal cancer.

  1. Low Anterior Resection Surgery: When the cancer or the tumor is located above the anus, then low anterior resection surgery is the best surgery. The rectal cancer, adjoining rectal tissues and the lymph nodes are removed. This surgery is done by making an incision in the lower part of the abdomen. This surgery is used for stage 1 cancer.
  2. Abdominoperineal Resection Surgery: Abdominoperineal resection surgery is preferred when the tumor is close to the anus. It can be used for treating stage 1 cancer and also can be used for stage II and stage III as well. The rectal cancer, the anus, adjusting rectal tissues and the lymph nodes are removed.
  3. Local transanal resection: When the cancer is in its early stage and is not far from the anus, your surgeon will opt for local transanal resection surgery. Usually, the tumor has to be small for performing this surgery.
  4. Proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis: You may have to remove the entire rectum if the tumor is present in the middle or lower part of the rectum. This is usually in stage II or stage III. This kind of situation requires proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis.
  5. Transanal endoscopic microsurgery: When the tumor is above the rectum and is in its early stage, transanal endoscopic microsurgery is the best method. But for performing this surgery, experts with special equipment are required.
  6. Pelvic exenteration: When the rectal cancer starts growing to the organs near to rectum, pelvic exenteration is required. This is a time consuming major surgery. Usually, along with the rectum, other organs such as the bladder, uterus or prostate is also removed. The patient will take months to recover from this major surgery.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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