International survey among surgeons on the perioperative management of rectal cancer

Zaid Al-Difaie, Nariaki Okamoto*, Max H M C Scheepers, Didier Mutter, Laurents P S Stassen, Nicole D Bouvy, Jacques Marescaux, Bernard Dallemagne, Michele Diana, Mahdi Al-Taher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Several pivotal studies and international guidelines on the perioperative management of rectal cancer have been published. However, little is known about the current state of perioperative management of rectal cancer patients in clinical practice worldwide.

METHODS: An online survey including 13 questions focusing on key topics related to the perioperative management of patients with rectal cancer was conducted among colorectal surgeons registered within the database of the Research Institute Against Digestive Cancer (IRCAD).

RESULTS: A total of 535 respondents from 89 countries participated in the survey. Most surgeons worked in the European region (40.9%). Two hundred and fifty-four respondents (47.5%) performed less than 25% of surgical procedures laparoscopically. The most commonly used definition of the upper limit of the rectum was a fixed distance from the anal verge (23.4%). Magnetic resonance imaging was used to define the upper limit of the rectum by 258 respondents (48.2%). During total mesorectal excision (TME), 301 respondents (56.3%) used a high-tie technique. The most commonly constructed anastomosis was an end-to-end anastomosis (68.2%) with the majority of surgeons performing a leak test intraoperatively (88.9%). A total of 355 respondents (66.4%) constructed a diverting ostomy, and the majority of these surgeons constructed an enterostomy (82%). A total of 208 respondents (39.3%) closed a stoma within 8 weeks. Lastly, 135 respondents (25.2%) introduced a solid diet on postoperative day 1.

CONCLUSION: There is considerable heterogeneity in the perioperative management of rectal cancer patients worldwide with several discrepancies between current international practice and recommendations from international guidelines. To achieve worldwide standardization in rectal cancer care, further research is needed to elucidate the cause of this heterogeneity and find ways of improved implementation of best practice recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1915
Number of pages15
JournalSurgical endoscopy and other interventional techniques
Issue number3
Early online date18 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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