Anastomosis of the descending colon to the rectum below 5 cm can result in fecal incontinence. We have reviewed 90 patients who underwent radical resection of the rectosigmoid colon with very low anastomosis that healed; 88 patients resumed defecation per anus. Indications for the resections were recurrent squamous cell carcinoma after total pelvic irradiation, adenocarcinoma of the endometrium with invasion of the mesentery of the rectosigmoid colon, endometriosis with low rectal involvement, and serous carcinoma of the ovary with invasion of the rectosigmoid mesentery and irradiation stenosis of the rectum. The rectum was transected at the level of the levator ani or below resulting in less than 5 cm of rectum above the anus. All patients had reanastomosis, coloproctostomy, with the end-to-end anastomosis stapler. All coloproctostomies were protected by proximal diverting colostomy if one of three conditions existed: (a) total pelvic irradiation; (b) significant diverticulitis or other inflammatory bowel disease; and (c) inadequate or unprepared bowel at the time of surgery. The proximal diverting colostomies were closed 8-16 weeks postoperatively after demonstrable healing of the anastomosis. Of the 90 patients, 88 eventually resumed defecation per anus after coloproctostomies and 5 (5%) required replacement of the colostomy for fecal incontinence. Eighty-three patients (92%) had successful reanastomosis, closure of the proximal colostomy, and defecation per rectum without fecal incontinence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology