J-pouch vs. side-to-end anastomosis after hand-assisted laparoscopic low anterior resection for rectal cancer: A prospective randomized trial on short and long term outcomes including life quality and functional results.
Side-to-end anastomosis using the descending colon has been proved to be as effective as J pouch in alleviating low anterior resection syndrome. However, using the sigmoid colon, which is less compliant for reconstruction after rectal cancer surgery, is common in China due to less prevalence of diverticulosis. The effectiveness of using the sigmoid colon for a side-to-end colorectal anastomosis in improving bowel dysfunction after laparoscopic low anterior resection of rectal cancer has not been investigated. This study was designed to compare the functional and surgical outcomes between the two anastomoses. From October 2007 to December 2008, 16 rectal cancer patients underwent laparoscopic low anterior resection with short-armed (length of side limb 2–4 cm) side-to-end sigmoidorectal anastomosis at our department. The bowel functional results of these patients at 6 months and 1 year postoperatively were recorded and compared with that of another 1:2 matched 30 patients undergoing straight anastomosis. Bowel movement frequency in the side-to-end group was obviously less than that in the straight group 6 months postoperatively. Patients in the side-to-end group also had an improved incontinence score, a better ability to defer defecation, and less repeated evacuation. No differences were found between two groups 1 year after surgery. The study shows that the short-armed side-to-end colorectal anastomosis using the sigmoid colon can also improve the short-term bowel function in patients undergoing laparoscopic low anterior resection.