AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term surgical and oncological outcomes after transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME) for rectal cancer during the implementation phase of this procedure in Denmark.
METHOD: This is a retrospective review of prospectively recorded data. Registration was initiated by the Scientific Council of the Danish Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG.dk) in order to assess the quality of care during the implementation of TaTME. Pre-, intra- and postoperative data including early recurrences were recorded at the operating centres.
RESULTS: From August 2016 to April 2019, 115 TaTME procedures were registered. Patients were predominantly male (74%) with mid-rectal (88%) tumours. The level of surgical complications was comparable to previous nationwide results. Anastomotic leakage occurred in 6/109 (5.5%). One urethral injury occurred. The plane of dissection was mesorectal in 60% of cases, intramesorectal in 28% and muscularis in 12%. Nonmicroradicality was seen in 8% (R1, 6%; R2, 2%). Four local recurrences occurred after a median of 23 months of follow-up. One of these was multifocal.
CONCLUSION: In an implementation phase where patient selection is expected, surgical and oncological results after TaTME were comparable to those of other approaches reported in the literature.