Ann Coloproctol.  2018 Aug;34(4):167-174. 10.3393/ac.2018.08.02.

Intersphincteric Resection for Patients With Low-Lying Rectal Cancer: Oncological and Functional Outcomes

  • 1Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The aim of this review is to evaluate the outcomes after an intersphincteric resection (ISR) for patients with low-lying rectal cancer. Reports published in the literature regarding surgical, oncological, and functional outcomes of an ISR were reviewed. The morbidity after an ISR was 7.7%-32%, and anastomotic leakage was the most common adverse event. Local recurrence rates ranged from 0% to 12%, 5-year overall survival rates ranged from 62% to 92%, and rates of major incontinence ranged from 0% to 25.8% after an ISR. An ISR is a safe procedure for sphincter-saving rectal surgery in patients with very low rectal cancer; it does not compromise the oncological outcomes of the resection and is a valuable alternative to an abdominoperineal resection. While the functional outcomes after an ISR were found to be acceptable, the long-term functional outcome and quality of life still require careful investigation. ISRs have been performed with surgical and oncologic safety on patients with low-lying rectal cancer. However, patients must be selected very carefully for an ISR, considering the associated functional derangement and the limited extent of the resection.


Low-lying rectal cancer; Intersphincteric resection; Oncologic outcome; Functional outcome

MeSH Terms

Anastomotic Leak
Quality of Life
Rectal Neoplasms*
Survival Rate
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