Understanding Rectal Resection

Understanding Rectal Resection

Cancer Overview

Surgical removal of a tumor is the cornerstone of curative oncologic therapy for localized rectal cancer. In addition to removing the rectal tumor, removing the fat and lymph nodes in the area of a rectal tumor is also necessary to minimize the chance that any cancer cells might be left behind.

However, because the rectum is in the pelvis and is close to the anal sphincter (the muscle that controls the ability to hold stool in the rectum), rectal surgery can be difficult. With more deeply invading tumors and when the lymph nodes are involved, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are usually included in the treatment course to increase the chance that all microscopic cancer cells are removed or killed.

What is rectal resection?

Anterior resection of the rectum is an operation to remove part or all of the rectum. It is most usually performed for patients with rectal cancer. Many patients with rectal cancer will have radiotherapy  before the operation. In many cases the operation can be performed via alaparoscopic (keyhole) surgical technique.

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