Transanal excision is the surgical treatment of choice for low-risk rectal pathology such as endoscopically unresectable polyps, very select early rectal cancers, as well as other benign and low-risk tumors. Robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery enhances the surgeon’s ability to work in the confined space of the rectum and helps overcome the limitations of other modalities for transanal excision. Large lesions that extend to the dentate line and cannot be excised transanally impart a particular challenge. Herein, we describe a hybrid robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery approach for excising large rectal lesions that extend to the dentate line and cannot be excised by utilizing traditional transanal techniques.
With the use of a standard transanal approach, the distal margin of the lesion is marked and lifted off of the internal sphincter muscle. The dissection is continued until above the anorectal ring, and a 5.5-cm transanal platform is introduced transanally. Insufflation with an 8-mm trocar is initiated and the robotic platform is docked transanally. A 1-cm circumferential proximal margin is marked, and the excision is continued robotically until en bloc resection of the lesion is completed. The defect is closed in a transverse fashion using barbed suture. For rare cases of circumferential or nearly circumferential full-thickness defects, interrupted barbed sutures are placed equidistant, the robot is undocked, the transanal platform is removed, and a handsewn coloanal anastomosis is performed allowing complete closure of the defect.
A hybrid robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery approach to large and low-lying rectal lesions is feasible and safe, and it has advantages over standard transanal excision including enhanced ergonomics, dexterity, and optics, as well as reduced rates of specimen fragmentation.
A hybrid robotic transanal minimally invasive surgery approach allows for complete resection of very large polyps, which would otherwise be extremely challenging with standard transanal approaches. See Video at http://links.lww.com/DCR/B231.