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September 1969

Pelvic Drainage After Anterior Resection of the Rectum

Author Affiliations

Sheffield, England
From the Royal Infirmary, Sheffield, England.

Arch Surg. 1969;99(3):391-393. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340150099020

Anterior resection of the rectum is the operation of choice for neoplasms of low-grade malignancy which are located 10 cm or more from the anal verge and which have not extensively infiltrated the surrounding tissue.1 Neoplasms in the middle third of the rectum (7.5 to 12 cm from the anal verge), are treated in one of three ways: either by abdominoperineal resection, abdomino-anal pull-through excision, or by low anterior resection. The last is technically more difficult the lower down the rectum the anastomosis is made and carries the risk of disruption of the suture line and development of pelvic sepsis or fecal fistula. Goligher2 reports 20 cases of dehiscence of the anastomosis and 23 cases of pelvic sepsis out of a series of 40 low anterior resections. The cause of these complications must be either a deficient blood supply to the colon or rectal stump, an accumulation of