Colorectal cancer is one of the most common and fatal malignancies in the United States. When localized to the distal gastrointestinal tract, surgical therapy includes abdominoperineal resection
(APR) or pelvic exenteration
(PEX). Subsequent ablative defects are considerable, impart concerning morbidity, and often necessitate autologous reconstruction. The aim of this study was to assess postoperative outcomes after reconstruction of APR and PEX defects.
The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (2005–2017) was queried for patients undergoing APR for lower gastrointestinal malignancies with concurrent autologous reconstructions. Cases of disseminated cancer were excluded. Postoperative adverse event profiles, including rates of wound and systemic complications, were evaluated. Multivariate regression analysis controlling for age, sex, body mass index, and operative time was performed to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs).
A total of 1309 patients were identified as undergoing APR/PEX with concomitant reconstruction. The majority (96.9%) of reconstructions consisted of muscle, myocutaneous, fasciocutaneous, or omental pedicled flaps. Of the cohort, 45.7% experienced at least 1 all-cause complication within 30-days of the procedure. Having a limited or moderate frailty (frailty index of “1” or “2”) was identified as a predictor of all-cause complications [OR, 1.556; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.187–2.040, P
= 0.001; and OR, 1.741; 95% CI, 1.193–2.541, P
= 0.004, respectively], whereas smoking was a predictor of wound complications (OR, 1.462; 95% CI, 1.070–1.996, P
= 0.017) and steroid use was a predictor of mild systemic complications (OR, 2.006; 95% CI, 1.058–3.805, P
Anorectal cancer resection often necessitates reconstruction secondary to postexenteration perineal defects. The incidence of postoperative complications is relatively high, and several risk factors are identified to help refine patient optimization.