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Anterior resection of rectum

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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An anterior resection of the rectum is used to treat rectal carcinoma where it is more than 10 cm from the anal verge but below the recto-sigmoid junction.

It is an extensive operation since the rectum must be mobilised within the pelvic musculature. The tumour is resected with a satisfactory distal margin - typically 5 centimetres - and the anastomosis performed between the rectal stump and the left side of the colon. A protective transverse loop colostomy may be also be carried out.

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